SMART Notebook 11/1/12

SMART notebook iconThe very much anticipated SMART Notebook App came out late August and had its first update October 25th. (Making it compatible with iOS 6) This app, only for the iPad, is a light version to the original and costs $6.99. Already you can see why this review is going to be mixed with good news and bad. Expect a basic interactive white board program and you won’t be disappointed. If you expect to open files with flash activities or tools, which is what makes SMART Notebook so popular, then you will be greatly disappointed.

If you have Keynote, then the SMART Notebook app will look very familiar. It’s very easy to start a new presentation. If you want to bring one in from SMART Exchange, simply visit their website and download one. It opens right in Notebook. You can move your previous creations from your MAC or PC by attaching it to an email to yourself. (I don’t recommend DropBox because of all the extra steps to open the file. You end up emailing a link to yourself and then downloading it.)

There are basic tools to annotate such as the pen, highlighter, eraser and text. You can insert images directly from your camera or photos. Objects can be locked, but it is a full lock, and cloned. The tap and hold method, or double tap, is how you access features such as delete. The functionality of this app are similar to those of Screen Chomp and Educreations. (which are free white board apps)

The list of what this app can’t do is probably longer than the list of what it can do. Like I mentioned above, your view of it is dependent of what you expect. I am disappointed that there isn’t a cut, copy or paste and you cannot drag an item/object from one page to another. Some of the files I transferred from my PC had pages that wouldn’t open because they were “too big”. Undo only goes back one action and the Activity Builder ‘reset’ button (a feature from Notebook 11) doesn’t acknowledge that an activity exists on the page.  


To the left you can see a side by side comparison. The full version of SMART Notebook 11 is open on the left. The SMART Notebook app is open on the right. You'll notice that the app didn't like something on my page and it won't display. Reason, "this page is too big to be displayed on the iPad". I can't see what's 'too big' about it, but the page did have links to attachments, websites and pages within the file.

I expect updates to this app that will make it better, so I’m going to keep my eye on it. For now, I recommend using your hard earned money to purchase Splash Top which works with your classroom presentation machine, and wi-fi, so you can control your entire computer from the iPad. (Same price as the SMART Notebook app) Read more about Splash Top in the App Archives.


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