Handwritten annotation -- are all apps equal?

A question from ignorance… are all apps on iOS equal in terms of how they handle handwritten text entered with a stylus? Is this a thing handled centrally by iOS, or are some apps much better than others in producing a smooth line, legible writing, pens and nibs and tools, and so on? I’m wondering if the DT2G annotation features are worth sticking with (certainly ‘yes’ for ease of staying entirely in the DT universe), or if people find other apps provide a smoother experience purely in terms of the handwriting (PDFExpert, Highlights, etc) and so it’s worth finding ways making them play nice with each other.

At the moment I’m working with an aged iPad and generic stylus (Meko) which is okay but not great. I’m thinking about getting something else (new Air, plus Apple pencil) – would you say this markedly improves writing accuracy and ease of use within DT2G, and/or third party apps? I’m relying more and more on writing on the glass slab, so I’d be interested to know.

Cheers! :slight_smile:

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I use GoodNotes for handwritten notes, PDF Viewer from PSPDfik to annotate PDF (same underlying DTTG PDF annotation layer) and DTTG for all other storage.

There are some differences between annotation programs, and even some are able to do handwriting recognition like GoodNotes (don’t expect anything from perfect).

Basically all start with the same iOS support, but add a lot of added value. Each one has its own niche.

I agree with @rfog. Goodnotes is my goto app for handwritten notes, but I usually use MarginNotes3 for PDF reading/annotation. Mainly because I can add notes without trying to squeeze it into a margin and can work with multiple pdf documents in one study notebook that include mind mapping capabilities. No mater what app I used, I always send it back to DEVONthink as a PDF so I can find it at a later date. I used to use GoodNotes auto backup feature to automatically save PDF versions to a cloud drive with the handwritten notes recognized as text. DT on my Mac indexes that PDF cloud drive so I can find related notes and emails based on keyword searches. Eventually my topic notebooks would get larger and larger and GoodNotes 5 came out and no longer supported the auto backup at that time. My new workflow is to export the relevant pages from GoodNotes directly to DTTG.

I find GoodNotes does “write” better for me with the Apple pencil than Notability and MarginNote. But I can easily take notes with all of them, it is just a little nicer looking to me in GoodNotes.

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