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Notability review

Take notes on your iPad and hear them later

Notability is the ideal app for slacker students to take notes during lectures or seminars


  • Very usable
  • Easy to organise notes
  • Audio recording
  • Simple transfers


  • Note file implementation needs work

However fast you type, when you're trying to keep up with a conversation, lecture or meeting, you'll inevitably miss bits. Those missed utterances may have been crucial, but thanks to Notability, you've got a safety net, because it records audio as you make notes.

And it will continue to capture sound if you switch out of the app in iOS 4.2 to check your email or look something up on the web. When you go back over your notes, play the audio and tap a place in the text to hear what was being said.

Your notes can be made in a range of fonts and outlines, including bulleted lists. Furthermore, you can add images, drawings and clips from the web, which you drag to where you want them and the text flows around them. It's a great way to make revision aids.

Notes can be categorised into subjects, so you can group all notes from one class together, for example. As the number of files you create builds up, you can still find the one you're after using the search. Once in a note, look up individual words or phrases, as in Safari on the Mac.

When you're done writing on the iPad, printing your notes, transferring them to your Mac, Dropbox or emailing them to others is a breeze, either as a PDF or as a Note file. The latter is an archive containing the images and audio recordings, but not, it seems, the note text – you'll need the PDF for that – a shame.

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