Wacom releases Wacom Paper, Penultimate-ripoff with half the features

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Wacom’s new capacitive stylus started shipping a couple of weeks ago and apparently Wacom felt that an app to go with it was in order. Wacom paper is the result, a note taking app that is such a blatant ripoff of Penultimate that I’m pretty sure there is security footage out there of a Wacom employee coding the app on a PC while looking at Penultimate on an iPad. The most blatant example of the copying is that they included Penultimate’s special virtual ink feature, which varies line thickness slightly by how fast you move the pen, thereby creating the illusion of ink that is absorbed into the paper.

I’ve expressed a desire for someone to combine the best features from all the note taking apps before so it’s not that they’re using the same features that bug me, but rather that the app is inferior to Penultimate. The most ridiculous aspect of the app is that you can apparently only create one notebook, which is going to be a dealbreaker for so many people. The app is also lacking Penultimate’s new paper import feature, so it’s limited to three types of paper. It also lacks any and all import features, be it PDF or images- but that goes for Penultimate too. My point here is that if you’re not going to improve on an app that already exists, why make a new one at all? I’m sure that the developer of Penultimate would have loved to cooperate with Wacom and it would have benefited both greatly.

Either way, at least the app is free-but only for a short while. With Penultimate being only $1.99 and a far better app overall I don’t really see any reason to get this app even to save the $2, but I’m sure the Wacom branding and price will help them in that department. I sincerely hope that the app becomes a failure and that Wacom realizes that they should stick to making the stylus and leave the app development to others. Combined with the issues of their stylus (the screen not registering it at times), this is the second “strike” against Wacom in just a couple of weeks. Hit the jump to see my idea of poetic justice in this case.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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