App Recommendations: Paper by 53

We are always trying new apps here, keeping an eye on the top charts and listening to customer feedback on things they’ve enjoyed. A recent favorite (one that Apple recognized as one of their Apps of the Year) is Paper by FiftyThree


First, the details: Paper is a virtual journal (or journals) for note-taking, sketching, drawing, etc. It’s a free app but there are in-app purchases to unlock extra tools and a color mixing palette. iPad only. Requires iOS 5.0 or higher. 

The app gives you journals (with customizablecovers — you can use one of the provided covers or use a picture from your camera roll) to fill with the content of your choice. Each journal comes with ten pages, but additional pages can be added. And content can be easily shared from the browse screen, with built in options to share to tumblr, facebook, twitter, save to your camera roll or send by email.

Why we like it: We’re fans of clean interface apps, and this one certainly has that. Writing, drawing and note taking feel as close to the real thing as possible, especially with the use of a good stylus. Each tool, from the watercolor brush to a fountain pen, produces exactly the right line. The color mixer, while a little finicky, allows you access to an unlimited range of colors. And the rewind feature makes undoing a mistake easy.

There aren’t many downsides to this app. Make sure you don’t skip the introduction, though — the controls for turning the page, hiding or showing the toolbox, and even exiting a journal are all gestures and aren’t listed, so it takes a bit of practice to get used to them.

The app is responsive enough to use just your finger to write or draw, but we much prefer using a stylus for the finer control:

Give our new Pogo Sketch + and Pogo Sketch Pro styluses a shot — they work perfectly with Paper!