If you are an iPad owner, a thought comes along about using your device for something more, something educational. Paper is becoming more like old technology, so a new generation technology should replace that. This app does exactly that. As I was browsing the Top Charts, I saw Bamboo Paper; it interested me because I am a student and this seemed like a good way to take notes. The app was basically like scrap paper that could be used to draw or take notes. The possibilities were endless because anyone from any age group could use this.
There aren’t many features on this app; it is very simplistic and does what it’s supposed to do. Although, more features could have made Bamboo even better.
What You Write Is What You Get
The app will mimic exactly what you’re trying to write. The app will be as accurate as the iPad’s touch sensitivity. If you’re planning to use a stylus pen with this then you have to make sure it is a good pen that the iPad will recognize throughout your writing process or else you will get dots instead of lines.
My sloppy handwriting is kept sloppy.
Bamboo allows for you to email, saving the page to photos, or print the page. This makes emailing and printing much easier. You can email straight from the app and not worry about saving it as a picture and then attaching it with an email client. You can print from the app so you can have a hard copy if you wish.
You are given the feature for different pen tips and different colors. The selection is limited however, as you only get three choices for pen tips and six colors. The color selection is very vivid and catches the eyes. However, they should have included a wider selection of colors so the user can decide what they want.
Color selection and pen tip selection menu.
You can create multiple pages, so you don’t need to worry about saving one page and clearing it to go onto the next. You can do your work going from page to page and editing past pages with the back and forward buttons on the bottom of the page. There is no need to worry about having to lose what you write unless the app happens to crash, you should save your notes regularly. However, it doesn’t have multiple notebooks, but the developers promised an update to fix this issue. This way you can have multiple notebooks for different subjects. The color of the notebook can be changed by by clicking the gear on the splash screen of the notebook.
Bookmarks are available if you want to remind yourself to go back or to indicate important pages. You can use them to indicate where a new subject starts since Bamboo Paper doesn’t allow for multiple notebooks.
Zoom and Pan
You can pinch to zoom and use two fingers to pan the paper. The sensitivity is pretty accurate, but I believe that is because of the iPad itself. This feature is more useful then it first seems; you can zoom in to write smaller and fill up the page with more information or even add more detail to what you already have.
Different Types of Paper
The app has different types of paper: plain, lined, or graph paper. However, it will make it so all the pages are like that. You can’t choose to make one page plain and another graph.
If you have Apple’s Digital AV Adapter, presentations can easily be done. Although Apple advertises this feature only for iPad 2, you can do TV-OUT with a tweak from Cydia called TV Tuner.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The GUI is pretty simple and straightforward to use. There are options at the top and an arrow at the bottom so it is simple to use. You may not notice the arrow at the bottom because of the color transparency the developers used, but once you find it, you’ll know where it is. To get the color and pen tip selection menu, you have to touch and hold for two seconds. The GUI is made so anyone can use it and get to work straightaway. If you keep playing around with it, you’ll know how to use the app within a minute. If you press harder and hold still longer, pressure will be recognized, this is a good addition because it allows for emphasize on certain expressions (drawing, text, etc). There is no option, in my period of use, that allows you to import pictures from a URL or from your stored photos. This should have been easy for the developers to implement. They might be holding out like Apple does with its products.
The splash screen on first entry into the app
I envision this being used very often if you’re a student, teacher, or in another field that requires you to write or draw. Even children can use it to draw and not waste real paper. The only downside is with the iPad’s battery life. If you’re planning to use this for hours on end, make sure you have the charger with you because this app does use quite a bit of battery. It’s unfortunate you can’t make multiple notebooks, however there are speculations that the updated version, probably the paid version, will have that feature.
Reuse Value: ★★★½
Bamboo Paper is free until the end of June, then the price will be increased to $1.99. I think this is not worth it unless they add a feature where you can create multiple notebooks. If you can create multiple pages, why not multiple notebooks? I believe it should be easy for them to add that feature. They could add many more features to make this worth the two dollars, but it’s not worth it if they don’t add more features. However, since I got it for free, the app was defiantly worth my time using. I’m planning to make use of it where ever I can, however, the downside is that this will be slower then using paper and pen.
I do not see myself using it as a binder replacement because I have more then one subject in school and it doesn’t allow you to make multiple notebooks. You can practically use it anywhere where you would usually use a notebook or a sketch pad or anything you want to write on. This is a really great app for its purpose. You can use it anywhere as long as you have enough battery power for it. The app has a lot of potential; as technology slowly starts to become cheaper and schools can afford it, these kinds of apps that replace everyday utilities will become a necessity.