Evernote’s on a tear lately. After acquiring the iPad handwriting app Penultimate in May 2012, it has updated the app to support Evernote syncing and has reduced the price to an agreeable zero dollars.
The app receives a slight visual overhaul, but stays true to its roots as a simple notepad, though topic and theme-specific pads can be purchased separately. Penultimate now also supports Evernote’s excellent text recognition, so even if you’re not using OCR to convert your scribbles to type, you can search the app for specific content. Used with a capacitive stylus, Penultimate is quite a useful tool, especially if you don’t want to pay the high price for Paper.
Evernote Hello has also been upgraded, coming with a new design on the iPhone and support for business card recognition, which is “unlimited for a limited time.” Hello also supports Facebook and LinkedIn, so you can add contacts by email address and have the service do the rest.
What’s interesting — and essential — about Hello is how it associates the people you meet with the space around you. If you meet someone for the first time at a business lunch, Hello will parse as much data from your phone as it can; it will take the relevant Evernote notes such as meeting minutes or point-form scribbles, as well as location data of where and when you met that individual. It’s sometimes easier to recall a person’s name or face if you have the context surrounding the initial meeting.