Inkredible Handwriting App

Inkredible – Handwriting Note  for Android by Viet Tran is a very well done handwriting app that we hope to see become a little more full featured in the near future.  The app essentially mimics a lined tablet.  you can either draw on the full page or enter handwriting line by line using an input box that advances line position as you write.  The full page mode is great for writing larger text, including flourishes to your heart’s content.  The input box is better suited for writing lines of text and I have already used it to write an entire letter.

Why write a letter when there’s a keyboard available, you ask?  Therein lies the beauty of this little app.  The written input just flows beautifully and actually makes me want to write as opposed to just being a chore to get a point across.  The handwriting with this app looks better than it does on most other apps.  It just seems to smooth the lines better.  Add to that a speed sensitive ink delivery and it’s easy to create beautiful handwritten notes.  Somehow my writing looks better on this than it does in real life.

Fountain and wet brush pens are included, while calligraphy and ballpoint can be purchased in app for 99 cents.  The app itself is free, so that’s a pretty small price to pay.  Pens are selected from a menu that slides out from the left that also includes all the other settings needed.

My only gripe with the app is the lack of a multiple folder or notebook option.  It’s easy to add a page, but that page just gets added to the end of all the pages that came before it.  The fact that this is handwriting and not text means that the pile of pages is not searchable either.  Each individual page can be shared on Facebook or sent as a pdf or image file to a variety of applications from Drive to Onenote.

Viet Tran has mentioned in a number of comment responses that multiple notebooks are in the works.  You read that right, the developer actually responds to comments on Google Play, and quite quickly too. Let’s hope the multiple notebooks happen, they would make this app truly inkredible.

Microfiber Stylus

I have been looking for a stylus for handwritten input on both the Nextbook and a Toshiba Thrive. Most of the rubber tipped styli I’ve tried are not useful because they tend to stick to the screen a little when moving across it. Kind of like a tennis shoe on a waxed floor – not conducive to handwriting.

I found a great inexpensive option in the New Trent Arcadia Stylus on Amazon. Rather than a rubber tip, these styli have a microfiber knit tip that is very soft and slides across the screen effortlessly. Being knit material, I suspect that there is a limited lifespan, but the retractable design of this stylus helps to protect it when not in use. In any case, they are relatively inexpensive at only $10.95 for two of them, one black and one white.

Writing on any capacitive screen is actually pretty enjoyable with the Arcadia even though it has a rather blunt tip. It’s actually not that difficult to create a decent handwritten note in a program like Inkredible or Handwrite, and handwriting recognition in Swype works quite well. The blunt tip does leave a little to be desired when it comes to drawing, however.

A Great $11 Nextbook Cover

One of the first things I always buy for a new phone or device is a cover.  I’ve tried a few for the Nextbook and none compare to the simplicity and quality of a cover I found for

.  It holds the tablet securely, while allowing access with a simple flip of the cover, which hinges horizontally and can be folded behind.

The cover also has indentations in it so that the Nextbook can be stood upright in landscape mode for hands-free viewing.  The stand is quite useful for watching movies and I especially like it for standing on the counter to view a recipe while cooking.

At a current price of les than $11 with free shipping, it’s a bargain, too.  See the link here -

Battery Status Widget

Battery Solo WidgetDown in the lower right corner of the Nextbook screen is a tiny little battery icon that shows you how much battery life is left.  It’s hard to see and not very informational.  Luckily, there are a number of widgets that allow you to put a battery indicator right on any home screen.

My favorite is the Battery Solo widget from Pedro Maicas that does a great job of showing the percentage left as a number and also as a circular LED style level indicator.  It’s free at Google Play.

Accessing Android Settings

Jelly Bean Settings ButtonThe Settings button in Android is one that you really need to get to know.  This button is the primary place to click to get to many of the settings that make your tablet tick.  True, the Nextbook works great right out of the box, but there are a few things that you need to know how to configure.

First and foremost is the Wi-Fi setting.  It appears at the top of the list, and for good reason.  Wi-Fi is critical to keeping your Nextbook connected to the outside world, but it is something that you may need to change periodically.  Whenever you connect to a network that you haven’t been on before, here is the place to enter that information.  You can also turn wireless off to save battery life when you don’t need to be connected (there’s also a widget for that).

Further down are other settings for Sound, Display, Storage, Battery and Apps.  The Apps button is another important one, as it allows you to see all of the Apps you have loaded and change their individual configuration.  You can also move Apps to the SD card to save space on the internal memory.

Settings for Location Services, Security, Language & Input and Backup & Reset are found under the Personal heading, but these are not often used.  The Accounts heading contains information about logins used on the device, but is rarely accessed from here.  The System heading has a few final options, but Date & Time is probably the only one you will need to use.

With the exception of WiFi, most of the settings on this page will be set once and forgotten about by the average user, but it’s a good idea to know how to get back to them.