updated 12:27 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2013
Penultimate becomes free
Evernote has made important upgrades to two of its iOS apps. Penultimate -- the stylus-based notetaking app Evernote acquired last year -- is now free, and can optionally sync with the core Evernote app. Accompanying the change is a new handwriting search feature, which analyzes writing to locate notes, and a redesigned interface. As a part of that redesign, ink should appear sharper on Retina displays, and language support has been extended to Russian and traditional Chinese.
Penultimate currently requires an iPad running iOS 6 or later, but Evernote is promising backwards compatibility with iOS 5 in the next update. Although the app itself is free, Evernote is selling different paper formats at $1 each.
Also redesigned is Evernote Hello, an iPhone greeting app designed to remind users of the contacts they've made. The app can now scan business cards and convert them into Hello contacts, pulling in pictures and information from LinkedIn and Facebook accounts; the latter can be fetched separately as well. Audio tones can be used to share data with nearby Hello users, and a new timeline groups people according to time and location. Finally, the app will automatically push contacts to an iPhone's address book.
Hello is a free download for devices running iOS 5 or later. Unlimited business card scanning, though, will only be free for a month, after which it will be restricted to Evernote Premium customers.