MarginNote 3: iPadOS support & a subscription

MarginNote 3 released their iPadOS support update 2 weeks ago. It was too buggy and unstable though until just a few hours ago when they released an update with bug fixes.

The app now has a monthly subscription for a feature they are calling OCR Pro. I have mixed emotions about this. Here’s why: 

  • MarginNote 3 supported OCR for scanned documents a while back. I could search through scanned documents in the app. But then they removed the feature only to bring it back (improved of course). Uncool, MarginNote 3 team! UNCOOL!
  • On the other hand, I like the subscription. It’s $1.50/month for this OCR Pro feature. When I saw it, I thought: why not support my favourite PDF-annotating app? $1.50 a month? Of course, avec plaisir! 

MarginNote 3 now has two in-app purchases: a one-time purchase for the full version of the app and a monthly subscription. If you find the OCR feature useful, you pay for it.

The Readdle team can learn a thing or two from this setup! This makes so much more sense than the stupid setup they dropped on us!

MarginNote 3 has a very good reason for this subscription fee. They are using ABBYY OCR offline engine for this feature. It is actually ABBYY requiring an end-user license payment from us, not MarginNote 3. I hope they get a commission for this. 

With OCR Pro, I can now treat my scanned documents as though they were not scanned. I can now copy & paste text out of them. I can even highlight my scanned PDFs! I am grateful, even if I have to pay a subscription for it.

I can also search my scanned documents now again.

Please note: OCR doesn’t include handwriting recognition. As a general rule, OCR in PDF readers doesn’t include handwriting recognition. 

MarginNote 3 now supports multiple instances. I am just finding it a bit annoying that the app doesn’t support drag & drop (for documents) to open in new instances. I have to go to the dock to open the new instance as though I am opening a completely different app. Multiple instances is more useful with drag & drop. It just is. 

You can drag & drop notes between multiple instances though. Not very exciting; that’s principally how this application works anyway! 

MarginNote 3 now supports dark mode

It looks great in the app, even with scanned copies. Dark mode inverts all the colours on the page, including pictures. Some pictures look better, amazing even, in dark mode. Others look awful, especially if they are pictures of people. 

MarginNote 3 still has terrible syncing. Syncing notes is a hit-and-miss in this app. Sometimes you have to manually sync documents if you really want them on another device. This is a problem that’s popped up a lot amongst users, so I thought I’d draw attention to it.

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