Got a stylus collecting dust in your gadget bag? Maybe it's time to dig it out, because Evernote's Android app now features built-in handwriting functionality. The update, which begins rolling out today, enables you to jot down notes or doodle to your heart's content in any of your digital notebooks.
The handwriting feature can be accessed from the Attachments option. You can add a handwritten note to any existing Notebook or start a new note and try your hand at digital writing and doodling.
There are four different pen colors to choose from, including red, blue, black, and green, as well as three different pen widths. There's also an eraser and a Cut tool that lets you cut and paste sections of your handwritten note. Swiping up and down with two fingers lets you pan through multiple pages in a note - handy when you have several doodles in a single note.
The handwriting feature is fairly easy to use, but I had some issues getting the stylus and the handwriting mechanism to sync up perfectly. It's also difficult to use on a screen smaller than 5.5-inches (the size of the Samsung Galaxy Note II). I can see the capability come in handy for mind-mapping or a quick sketch, but for standard notes full of words, you're going to want to stick with the keyboard. The version that I tested was still in beta, so here's to hoping that the Evernote development team will continue to refine things over time.
While the app doesn't quite translate your writing into raw text, your written words are searchable, so you can find your notes by searching for the labels you jot down on your drawings.
The app update also includes new features like text highlighting and note links, which lets you create jump links between your Evernote notes. The built-in Evernote camera has also been tweaked so that it's twice as fast as before.
You can download the new version of Evernote directly from the Google Play store. Evernote posted a little video showing off the feature. It appears Evernote's nifty new feature won't stop you from incorrectly labeling that G major guitar chord as Gmaj7.