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Handwriting apps are hardly novel anymore. There was certainly a time when we would download the latest digital whiteboard or notebook just to marvel at the realism of its pen strokes, but these days we're more interested in usefulness than newness. But despite its cringe-worthy name, INKredible grabbed our attention. With a clear focus on work rather than art, developer Viet Tran distills the fantastic ink effects of his popular Notes Plus release into a simple, elegant app that just might make you forget you're not using a pen.
INKredible might not have the font and recording features of its more-powerful cousin, but what it lacks in note-taking features it makes up for in its attention to detail. It uses the same four elegant tool options as Notes Plus — the fountain pen is free, but the others cost $0.99 each — and adopts many similar features, including the sublime close-up writing and lasso-to-edit modes. You'll also find the familiar wetness and thickness adjusters, but they are made more robust with the use of sliders.
Sliding from the left side of the screen brings up the only interface element: a discreet toolbar (which can be docked) that houses all of the above options, along with undo/redo buttons and an input selector. Pen strokes feel smooth and natural whether writing with a finger or a stylus, but the latter option triggers an automatic rested palm rejection that lets you write comfortably, just as you would when using a notebook.
The app offers three styles of paper (blank, lined, and graphing), but there are no actual pages to speak of in INKredible; rather, notes are collected in lengthy scrolls that make organization rather difficult. Not having a way to save your work is a bit off-putting, and navigation — which consists of scrolling to the end and "pulling" to see the next page — also proves a bit unintuitive. Pages can easily be exported as PDFs or PNGs, though multi-page works will be split up into individual files.
The bottom line. Its name may be a pun, but INKredible’s slick digital ink is no joke.
iPad running iOS 6.0 or later
Incredible ink effects (as promised). Excellent customization options for pens. Interface disappears as you work. Good paper choices.
No saving or organization within the app. Navigation is somewhat tricky. Multi-page projects are exported as individual files.