Evernote has added new features to its iPad handwriting application, Penultimate, and turned it into a free app. It was earlier priced at $0.99. The user interface too has received a makeover. The update brings greater integration between the two apps, greater accessibility and the ability to sync and search content across the two apps.

Evernote explains in an official blog post that the interface is now cleaner and uncluttered. In version 4, the newest version, important functions are more accessible while the ones used less frequently have been put moved into a menu. Evernote claims that the “ink” within the app is sharper, smoother and more natural than ever, perfect for jotting and sketching.

Screenshots of Penultimate on the iPad

Penultimate on the iPad

Users could already share notes using Penultimate into Evernote. Now users can connect the two apps and sync content from Penultimate with Evernote. Using this new feature, Penultimate notebooks corresponding to different Evernote notes can be created and effortlessly maintained. The two apps have achieved greater integration with the introduction of a feature to search for content present in handwritten notes. Users can tap on a magnifying glass icon and search results get displayed with the search terms highlighted with yellow rectangles. However, handwriting is processed on Evernote's servers, which means users can expect some delay in obtaining search results. All existing notebooks from Penultimate will be synced and backed up on Evernote servers. Those that are too large to be synced and backed up will be stored locally on the device. This means that notes from Penultimate will be available on every desktop and mobile device Evernote is installed on.

Notes created using Penultimate can be synced with Evernote by tapping on a new sync icon located at the bottom right corner of the notebook cover. The blog post reads, “In Evernote, Penultimate Notebooks are mapped to individual notes. This way, all of your ideas about a single topic are inside of a single note. It’s a good practice to create multiple notebooks for different meetings, clients, classes, etc.” The notebook can be partitioned into different parts that can be synced separately. This allows for syncing only the required notes. Existing users, however, can continue using Penultimate without signing into Evernote or opting for the sync and search functionality.

Evernote acquired the app in May last year. It is available on the App Store.

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