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The Edge & the right way to handle notes

Today  I came across a feature that the Edge got right. The main reason I noticed is that everyone else gets it wrong.

One critical feature that most ereaders miss is annotation. To be more exact, the missing feature is how to get annotations off the ereader. Okay, it’s not important for the basic models, but once you have the ability to edit an ebook on an ereader, what is the value of that editing if you can’t use them elsewhere?

When using the Edge, you can save the pen based annotations (and the page they’re on) as a PDF. You’re also supposed to be able to send that PDF as an email attachment, but that doesn’t seem to work yet. (Let me fiddle with that some more.)

I’m also pleased with the quality of the inking. BTW, now I understand why the Edge has a large bezel. It gives me extra space to rest my hand while I’m writing. This helps me a lot, because my penmanship was never very good to start with.

So long as I’m on the topic of inking, I’d like to point out that you can also create "journals", which are collections of handwritten notes that aren’t attached to any ebook. With a single button press, you can switch between having an ebook and a journal on the epaper screen.

I’m really impressed with all the writing options. You can write in 6 different line sizes, 5 different shades, and there is even undo and redo options. I think the best comparison would be a b&w version of MSPaint( but that’s not an exact match). About the only option not offered is typing a piece of text into a journal instead of writing it.

sample 1

sample 2

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John April 11, 2010 um 11:59 am

This is encouraging. It increases my interest in the Edge. Thanks.

Juan April 11, 2010 um 2:50 pm

This is the way that Iliad permitted annotations, and it doesn’t work. Just compare it with mobipocket annotation system.

a bitmap annotation is not reusable. As simple as that

Nate the great April 12, 2010 um 10:10 am

How does it not work? I agree that it might not the best solution, but it seems to work rather well.

Juan April 15, 2010 um 4:36 am

Because you cannot use that metadata properly. They are graphics. You cannot take your annotations to a paper you are writing, for instance.

It’s a shame. I couldn’t accept that mistake with my first iliad, but repeating it in 2010 is just a joke. Just look at the kindle and its annotation capabilities

Maybe the problem is ePub, as simple as that

sarah11918 April 12, 2010 um 1:53 am

The journal app is very similar to MS Journal Note that you find standard on Tablet PCs; a little more like the xournal app written for the linux-based (maemo) Nokia internet tablets (N800, N810).

It’s a great app, and works very nicely on the eDGe. The only thing is that there can be a lag between writing and seeing your words show up (happens more when there’s a background like the graph or lined paper, almost not at all if you choose a blank background), but it does capture every motion. So even if you’re zipping ahead before you can see the ink, you won’t lose anything.

I bought the eDGe primarily for the Journal app function (and ability to treat your pdfs as if they were backgrounds for the journal app) so that the device could replace both a book and a notebook. I was already very familiar (and happy with) with MS Journal Note and xournal, and glad to see that this was along the same lines. Both of these programs do have an "annotate pdf" function as well as an "export to pdf" function, and that’s a great way to do it.

Eventually handwriting recognition would be the one improvement that would rocket this thing to stardom. But, I agree, pdf is the way to handle a virtual notebook, and this app does it well.

Peter April 14, 2010 um 11:19 am

"Eventually handwriting recognition would be the one improvement that would rocket this thing to stardom. "

Now. That’s some thought …

Nate, I’m really looking forward to your review. Any progress ? ;o)

Entourage Edge Review, pt 1 | The Digital Reader April 14, 2010 um 2:40 pm

[…] BTW, I also wrote a post about how the Edge can export annotations. You can find it over here. […]

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