Friday, September 07, 2012

SMART Notebook iPad App Review

SMART Technologies recently released a new iPad app, called SMART Notebook app for iPad. This might be big news for a lot people who have a SMART Board and an iPad in their classroom. My school has three SMART boards on campus, and I have access to one of them in my computer lab. We also have been testing out iPads in the education setting, with teachers and students, over the past year or so. I was really excited to hear about an iPad app for SMART Notebook, but initially, I wasn't sure what to expect from it. Does it allow a user to connect to the SMART Notebook software on their computer? Is it a standalone "whiteboard" app that allows the user to draw and create slides? Will the app display on an overhead projector?

Well, I took the hit and purchased the app for $7.00 to see what the app is all about. $7.00 is quite expensive for an iPad app, especially since I'm working with a public school budget and I'm always on the hunt for FREE or, at the most, $0.99 apps.

Up front, SMART Notebook app for iPad is a very basic "whiteboard"app. You can create notebook files and slides within each file. You have a set of 5 tools to use with the whiteboard space. The Select Arrow, a Pen, an Eraser, a Text Tool, and an Insert Photo tool.

The Pen Tool comes with a set of 4 colors (black, blue, red, and green) and 2 highlighters (yellow and green). 

The text box comes with an assortment of options, such as Size, Font, and Color. You can also set you text to bold, italics, or underline, and you can align the text within the box.

 The one thing I dislike about the text options is the layout of the color selection. The colors are organized in a long column. I would much prefer a color wheel, where I have more options to choose from. It would also make finding a color much easier as I wouldn't have to scroll through a list to find what I want.

The Insert Photo tool gives the user the choice of either inserting a picture from their camera roll or a photo can be taken with the built in camera.

Overall, I think $7.00 makes this app way overpriced for what it offers. There are many other "whiteboard" apps available on the market, some a lot cheaper and others in the $7 range offer more features.

If you already have SMART Notebook 11 installed on your computer (which is free with a SMART board), you may just want to consider an app like Splashtop 2. The iPad app is $4.99. It allows you to remotely connect to your computer. Going this route will give you access to SMART Notebook 11 on your iPad with all the other features for a smaller pricetag.

If you're using SMART Notebook app for iPad, let me know what you think in the comments below.


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