Hands-on: Livescribe 3 brings notes, audio straight to your iPad

Jamie Feltham
October 28, 2013

The Livescribe series of pens has always offered a unique form of note-taking that allows for digital recording of notes and audio. Now, with the newly-announce Livescribe 3, the company is bringing all of that and more to iOS.

We got to see the new pen, pad and app in action last week. Where previous iterations of the note-taking device have all worked through the pen itself, Livescribe 3 links to later-generation iPads and iPhones via bluetooth. That’s back to the 3rd generation iPad (and iPad mini) and the iPhone 4s. From there, using the company’s own notepads, you can have anything you’ve written instantly digitized onto the app.

The notepad comes complete with a set of options actually on the paper that you just need tap to operate. Want to record audio? Just tap the record button on the bottom of the device and whatever you’re nattering about will be captured on the iDevice with instant playback ready.

In terms of the (free) app, there’s a range of options to keep everything you’ve written organised in clear. Notes can easily be selected in by looking back through the dates of writing. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, the app can easily translate your handwriting into text with a few simple swipes. It might have one or two issues picking up what you’ve said dependent on your handwriting, but it’s still accurate and efficient for the most part.

Livescribe 3 doesn’t stop there, taking full advantage of the iOS devices. You can take pictures from within the app and tag them (sort of like how you might write on the back of a photo). You’ll be able to share anything you’ve made as PDF files over mail etc, so its accessible for anything without the app.

The new kit is coming in two variants. For £129.99 you can get the standard edition with the smartpen along with a 50-sheet Starter Notebook, as well as a micro USB charging cable and a black tungsten carbide medium-tip ink cartridge. Upgrade to the Pro Edition for £169.99 and you’ll be treated to a leather smartpen portfolio with a 100-sheet hardbound journal, a one-year subscription to Evernote Premium, the charging cable and an additional ink cartridge.

The app and product are available right now. Check out the official website for more info.

About the Author

Jamie Feltham

Videogamer, music listener, squash player, exerciser, technology journalister. Multimedia journalism graduate, writing for the What Mobile mag and website

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