It turns out that my touch-based handwriting with my index finger really sucks. Sure, the notes resemble my handwriting, but the touch field is very sensitive, so if I have a weird jog in a letter because I don’t pick up my finger completely, a line will appear. So writing on Touchwriter HD is not a reckless affair; it does require that you pay attention. That said, it also gets easier as you go along and learn the feel of the app and process.
Whenever I see super-clean hands touch-typing away on horizontally placed iPads in slick TV ads, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get good at that myself. No, when it comes to a virtual keyboard, I fear I’ll be forever the hunt-and-peck kind of guy.When I saw Touchwriter HD, I saw a possible solution: I could use an app to touch write notes instead of tap typing them out.
Touchwriter HD is basically a handwriting-based note-taking app. It lets you draw characters with your fingers — A, B, C and all that — uppercase, lowercase. However you drag your finger, it’ll show up on a line of neatly ruled notebook paper. Virtually, of course. The field of action is located where a virtual keyboard would show up — at the bottom of a note.
The app comes with emoticons that you can slip in quickly, if you’re an emoticon sort of person. What I find more useful is the ability to create a quick checklist. If you tap and hold the space bar, for example, you’ll get rewarded with a little gray check box.To keep track of notes, you have a running list that disappears in vertical mode (accessible by tapping the Notes button at the upper left) or appears in horizontal mode in a paper-like list tucked into a nice virtual leather “pocket.”
Each note has a time stamp on it, and you can add tags for each note, along with a location if you use the built-in maps function. You can find your notes via location on a map, too, so if you write a lot of notes, you can find the one you wrote in the park, for example, when you were madly in love and identifying animals in the puffy clouds above. Or whatever.
For exporting, Touchwriter HD will let you upload your notes to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Docs, Evernote, Dropbox or Twitter, save them as photos, or send them via email. If you’ve “handwritten” a phone number or URL, for example, you can pull up a keyboard that lets you type out the number and dump it into an email. It could be any number or handwritten text, of course — the feature works if you’ve got chicken scratch text that needs to be type.You can also make some basic settings changes — from changing the width of your “ink” to changing the virtual page size, changing the color of your ink on the fly, and that sort of thing.