Okay, we can argue that we have so many note-taking applications for the iPad, so really, why do we need another one – what has this one got that the others do not?

Yeah, that is right, the ‘PhatPad’ is in this situation. But it has been recently developed and released by ‘PhatWare’, a long-time developer of applications for hand-helds and smartphones, and ‘PhatPad’ does bring the best of the ‘Newton MessagePad’ note-taking to the iPad.

You can make individual notes and they are no longer confined to just one page, because now you have forward and back within a specific note. In addition you have a lasso tool, which allows you to select a text or a graphic on a page, and move, delete, or simply recognize the object.

Looking at the handwriting recognition capability, we can say it really rocks. Yes, it is as perfect as any other handwriting recognition application. If you have written something you can convert it to text. If the word is not recognized properly, you can tap on it to see other possible words. The ‘PhatPad’ recognition engine appears to be built on their venerable ‘CalliGrapher’ software, which has been available on various hand-held platforms since 1997 – a real golden oldie but up-to-date gold.

Handwriting is not the only way that you can take notes as ‘PhatPad’ uses standard keyboard entry as well, and the application allows you to customize every part of your notes.

The first version of the application has multiple ways of sharing your notes:

  • immediately with other iPads running ‘PhatPad’, synchronized via iTunes,
  • email
  • export as PDF.

‘PhatPad’ is available now in the App Store for only $4.99.