The App That Adds Handwriting Recognition to the iPad | Tech


Apple recently upgraded its iPad Pro lineup. While the company made the new tablets future-ready by giving them an edge to edge display, removing the Home Button and introducing FaceID, there is still one trick that the Cupertino tech giant seems to have missed. It’s 2018 and Apple has still not managed to get handwriting recognition on the iPads yet – even the new Apple Pencil does not have it. But as they say, “there is an app for everything” and sure enough, there are a few that enable handwriting recognition on the iPads as well. And one of the most reliable of these is an application called MyScript Nebo, a scribbler’s app which can easily substitute Apple’s native Notes and comes with handwriting recognition. 

The MyScript Nebo is compatible with iPads, Windows 10 device and some Android devices which require a stylus like the Apple Pencil 1 and 2 (yes, it is compatible with the new Apple Pencil already) or Surface Pen, Samsung S Pen and Google PixelBook Pen to work with. However, it is its iPad version that we are really interested in. 

When you first open the application, you get a notebook-like interface with horizontal equidistant line to make sure handwritten notes do not move all over the place. On the top you will find a few options to make your writing experience better — you have pens, erasers, options of just how thick you want your writing to be, as well as a wide range of colours that you can choose to write in. There are other options too. You can access the camera and take images from within the app, add images from the gallery, make a sketch on the document, and even throw in formulas. And of course there are handy Undo and Redo options for those moments when you want to cancel or repeat a command! You can also search for words (shades of Control + F), and can also convert the notes you make into text, HTML, PDF and even Word files. 

Using MyScript Nebo is pretty much a walk in the park. All you have to do is launch the app, charge your Apple Pencil and start writing. Unless your handwriting is extremely bad, the software will be able to understand most of it, which makes using the note making app a lot of fun, even while keeping it super useful. If the app thinks you are getting a little out of line with your words (literally), it will remind to write smaller letters that fit in between the lines. We tried writing as small as we could to see if we get a similar tip for writing small letters but to our pleasant surprise, the app converted even those words correctly. 

There are a few handy tricks that the app comes with. For example, you do not need to keep switching between pen and eraser to delete a text from your notes. You can just draw a line through the word or letter you want to erase and the writer will erase it — just like a real pencil. You can also move text to a different line; you do not need to look for the “Enter” key, you can just draw a vertical line between the words and the word after the line will be shifted to a new line. If you want to highlight a text from a paragraph you can simply select a different colour, underline text with it and the app will change the colour of that text to the colour you have chosen. The app also has support for ten different languages including English, Chinese, German, Italian, Spanish amongst others. 

It is the fluency and ease with which MyScript Nebo handles handwriting that really makes it special, and a great tool for those who still prefer to write the old fashioned way. No, it does not come cheap – at Rs 599 some might consider it to be on the expensive side. However, we think that is a small price to pay to add a feature that the iPad and Apple Pencil should really really have! 

Download the app from iTunes App Store at



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