A screen shot of a handwritten note in the Penultimate app. (Evernote )
Note-keeping site Evernote is getting a hand with your writing by enveloping iPad handwriting app Penultimate.
The Penultimate is a clean, simple app that lets you take notes in your own handwriting on the iPad. The popular 99-cent app is listed fourth among the best-selling paid apps, according to Apple's App Store.
"Evernote's actually been working on handwriting and handwriting recognition for, like, a hundred years -- all the way back to the Apple Newton days...," Phil Libin, Evernote CEO, said in a video on the company's blog. "And we've got all this great technology for how to make ink look beautiful and how to recognize it, but we've never actually been able to put it together in a really beautiful consumer experience."
Although Libin said the company has ''big plans" for Penultimate, the first order of business is to keep it separate and "not ruin it," recognizing that the app's simplicity is what is attractive. It is to remain a standalone app, according to the announcement.
There already is Evernote integration in Penultimate; users can send their notes either to Evernote, Dropbox, the photo library or to others via email. Libin said Evernote will integrate Penultimate functionality in the near future, with back-end tweaks to make sure the experience is seamless.
He also told CNet that Evernote's character-recognition technology will allow Penultimate notes to be searchable in Evernote.
Speaking of integration, Penultimate creator Ben Zotto has already started working in the Evernote offices.
Wired notes that users will see Penultimate on additional platforms in the near future.
The purchase, whose price was not disclosed, is the latest in a mini binge, including Skitch, as Evernote prepares for its initial public offering.