Quite simply, Paper is the best app I’ve seen in a long time.1 It just turned my iPad from a device I leave at home for email, browsing and playing games to a business tool I want to have with me all the time.
Over the last six months I’ve been using paper sketches more and more to capture and communicate ideas; it’s been working really well. What hasn’t been working well is how I integrate these into my digital workflow.2 I’m hoping that Paper will be my answer.
For as good as Paper is now, there are still some pretty obvious areas in which it can expand – here’s a short list of things I’d dearly love to see.
- Re-ordering of books – This is going to become more and more important to me over time. I’ll want my “active” books towards the front, etc. along with my “random ideas” book. Related: the ability to re-order pages within a book.
- Export page to photo roll – Badly needed. I have a variety of tools that integrate with the photo roll, this is an easy stop-gap to allow other apps/services to interact with the content I create in Paper.
- Mirror books to Dropbox – Allow me to specify a folder in Dropbox to use as my “Paper” folder, then create folders within that for each book and save a flattened export of each page into the appropriate book folders. I’m going to need my sketches on my laptop too. A similar approach could store the images in Evernote as well.
- Portrait orientation support – Some ideas are vertical.
- Setting for screen orientation when locked – This is a bit of a nit pick, but I prefer having the home button on my right since I’m right handed. When I have it on the left (in landscape mode), I inadvertently hit it with my left thumb while holding the iPad. I know it rotates when the screen orientation isn’t locked, but I use my iPad with the screen orientation locked much of the time.
- iCloud sync – Lower priority, but even if it was just iPad to iPad sync I could see getting a second iPad to have at work just for Paper and as a test device.
Most of these are pretty obvious requests, so I’m sure the smart folks at FiftyThree are already considering them in one form or another. I’m really excited to have a really good digital notebook and can’t wait to see what comes in future releases.
I also love the way they decided to sell the app. You can download and use the app for free with no limitations on the number of books, pages, etc. you create. Instead, you have in-app purchases for different drawing tools (with the ability to test out each tool before you purchase). This is by far the best trial experience I’ve had on an iOS app and I bought all but one of the brushes within 5 minutes of launching the app for the first time.
I have a Pogo sketch stylus that I got a few years ago to use with my iPad. I’ve never really liked it, and the results with Paper are “just OK”. It looks like they are recommending the Wacom Bamboo stylus, so Amazon will be delivering one of those to me this week. I’m optimistic that this will make a noticeable difference in consistency of the stylus performance.
Skip the photo wuth tour phone and just use the screenshot utility via home button + power button to take a screenshot. You’ll get it on photostream that way as well.
The photo with the phone was the solution I used with my paper notebook (which, sadly lacks both a home and power button). 😉
Taking a screenshot and having that flow into Photo Stream is a good idea; I feel like I should have thought of that. Thanks!
That does look like a pretty great app. The Dropbox integration is definitely a must in my book, since it’s essential for sharing these days.
One of the biggest issues I keep running into with drawing/design apps is how ham-handed my drawings look when using the big rounded tip of the stylus. It’s probably wishful thinking, but it would be great if someone could develop a relatively fine-point stylus to use with apps like this.
They solve this problem really nicely through the use of different brushes. Most impressively, it works relatively well with a finger too.
Have you tried Smartnote?
best one I have found in ages
Also lets you clip webpages into a note and you can annotate web pages really well.
Sounds interesting. I see Paper as a tool for a different job though. Paper is a sketchbook, not a general Notes app.
Smart does that as well..
plus it has all the tools not teasing you with buying ones you like.
just noticed they added Evernote integration now also 🙂
I am a happy camper now
How do you like that Stylus? I’ve got one that has a very soft tip and haven’t really taken to it. I’m really considering a Wacom Bamboo or a Cosmonaut.
I don’t like the old Pogo either, I ordered the Wacom Bamboo.
Paper is indeed wonderful, but I hate the method of triggering undo. I find myself either having to make several attempts to get it to go back far enough or accidentally going back too far. And sometimes I don’t get it just right and I end up making extra marks in my drawing rather than undoing, leaving me with more stuff I need to undo. I wish it was just a simple two-finger left swipe or something rather than the clever but too difficult circling motion.
Interesting, I like the implementation of the undo/redo feature.
I’d have to agree with you here. Paper might be the app that turns the iPad into something I use seriously rather than just a media player and casual web device. It’s already come in handy to sketch out a quick lighting (video) setup I was trying to explain to a student.
I am curious about your thoughts on the bamboo stylus when you get it.
Happy to report that the Bamboo stylus is a huge upgrade over my old Pogo Sketch (and works nicely with Paper’s brushes).
@alexkingorg nuts, I just ordered one of Pogo’s pro styluses.
@gordonbrander My Pogo is from the iPad 1 days, hopefully their Pro and current models are better?
[…] already professed my love for Paper1, and one of my primary usages is for wireframing UX models. I used it for a few of the improvments […]
On Paper http://t.co/St5vp0hf via @alexkingorg