In the last couple of months since its inception, Myscript® has released two significant updates of its innovative note taking app Nebo.
While the former brought the possibility to customize your pencil (both its size and color) with a smart UI, the latter brings space management, the tap-tap gesture automatically removing the empty space between paragraph, or above/below diagram, math and sketch, or adding extra space (see bottom note for more explanation).
This being said, I take the opportunity of this update to share my thought about Nebo’ peculiar approach, and the difficulty to cope with it when you are familiar with OneNote.
In short, while OneNote allows for a 100% freestyle experience, Nebo is more structured.
In OneNote, there is no page limit, and there are no clusters between different means of expression : handwritten text, typed text, sketch and pictures… plus you can mix all of them.
In Nebo, each type of content has its own block (container), with specific – dedicated features. This allows Nebo to be better at :
- conversion of handwritten notes,
- interactive diagrams,
and also at handling annotated images (one great achievement of Nebo is that the ink will dynamically follow any move or resizing of the picture).
The main drawback lies in the limits imposed by this highly structured concept : Nebo is not the most appropriate for gathering informal ideas or thought (you know : when you simply want to jot down a few words with some lines to link related ideas, or circle the important ones).
On the other hand, I’ve never been able to convert handwritten notes into typed text in OneNote, nor reliably (see my other blog post for illustration, in French, but the screen captures are self explanatory), nor smoothly : nothing compares to the simplicity of the tap-tap gesture, nor the reliability of Nebo’s ink conversion.
This reliability is certainly the outcome of a more structured, more constrained approach, since you have to follow the gridlines carefully, and have a rather homogeneous handwriting with Nebo.
This is not to say that Nebo doesn’t have its own merits. Its interactive diagrams are still a killer feature, that the latest release of OneNote for W10 (17.78) don’t even get closer at.
For a complete review of Nebo, feel free to read my other blog post.
Note on “Smarter object with double-tap”
- the first tap-tap will convert the object to text
- the second tap-tap will remove empty space
- the third tap-tap will add some extra space on top of the diagram, and at the bottom
Trying to figure out the benefit of this new feature, I got confused with the fact that you need to tap-tap 3 times, to add some extra space if your are in need for some. Also, I don’t find it familiar to have to convert your in progress’ ink diagram into text, before asking for more space !
Actually, in this case, it’s quicker to use the small dots (plain in each side, and empty at each edge) to adjust the size of the block.
So I imagine that the purpose of this new feature is to help when you want to edit a diagram done previously. But even in this case, since the screen automatically scrolls to show the upper part of the diagram, I don’t find it very useful (unless you intended to complement the upper part of your diagram…).
Well, it may fit in your own workflow…
Tell me if you find it useful.
Note about the smart UI for customized colour
You are not limited any more to the 8 pre-defined pencils, since update 1.3.
You may even change the colour of the existing pencil (or erase them), adjusting :
- saturation, and