We’ve covered the paid, top handwriting apps for the iPad. Now, let’s look at the best three free handwriting apps you can get in 2023 if you’re on a budget.
3. Apple Notes
Apple Notes is available on all Apple devices, so it syncs seamlessly. It is the only app on this list that lets you add videos to your notes, of any length. You can even extract text from them, which is awesome! Data detection makes it easy to add information to other apps without leaving your notes. You can save a new contact, add a reminder to your to-do list, and even add an event to Apple Calendar. It’ll save you the time you’d otherwise waste moving between apps.
Apple Notes also has smart folders that help you better organise your notes. A few issues might upset you about Apple Notes, though. The raster ink, limited export options, and lack of auto backup are not good for digital note-taking.
2. Samsung Notes
Samsung Notes is by far our favourite app on this list. It’s a shame it’s only available on Samsung tablets. The app supports infinite scrolling for your pages, but it also has fixed page sizes. We’ll be happy when we can define our page sizes because, at the moment, we don’t have the option to do that.
You can add GIFs to your notes and even edit your images in Samsung Notes. The photo-editing capabilities of the app are quite impressive—overkill for a note-taking app. As with most apps on this list, exporting documents out of the app is not pleasant, especially for PDFs. Samsung Notes creates the worst PDF exports we have seen in any note-taking app. They pixelate much worse than the raster ink in Apple Notes.
OneNote is the only app on this list available on most operating systems. You can use it on macOS, iPadOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. It syncs across all your devices, which is to be expected. You’ll have to master the app for the different platforms, though, because it has a lot of inconsistencies. OneNote is best used on Windows, and that can be a bit frustrating if you don’t have it.
You can attach any files to your notes, as long as they are less than 100 MB. For digital notes, that’s probably enough. OneNote can also extract meeting details from Outlook, which is an awesome integration.