Penultimate, one of the two best pen-and-paper apps for the iPad, has gotten a Retina upgrade. This is a pretty big deal, as the feel and look of the ink, plus the responsiveness of the app, are what make it so great. Now, with super-smooth, hi-res graphics, can it keep its crown?
The answer is yes. The 3.3.1 update does little but fix a few bugs and add support for the iPad 3’s Retina display. But what a difference! The ink engine is as smooth as it was before, and the app is still just as responsive, even though it’s shifting four times the number of pixels. Now, though, the ink really looks like ink on paper, and the smallest nib size looks fantastic.
On launch, Penultimate updates all your current notebooks and papers to hi-res versions, and somehow manages to make your old drawings and writings not look terrible. I used to use Penultimate all the time for taking notes until I switched to Noteshelf, which at the time had better support for adding photos and writing longer notes. This update might have me switching back, if only until Noteshelf gets its own Retina update.
There is one thing that does seem a little slower on the new iPad version of Penultimate, and that’s page-turning, which is a little sluggish. Then again, it might have always been like that — it really has been a while since I launched the app.