With all the styli floating around the Android tablet world, it was only a matter of time before someone made a really excellent notation app for pen-based input. That app is Papyrus, a long-term project from indie developer Steadfast Innovation. The free app introduced its first beta version today, and you can download it on the Google Play Store. While it’s technically possible to use standard finger input in Papyrus, it’s specifically designed for Android tablets running 3.0 or later with stylus input options.

Papyrus brings the tried-and-true notation app into a more modern setting with full support for Android’s tablet interface, making the various writing tasks much easier. There’s also active gestures for quick stylus-based control – a lot like the old PalmOS used to have when every pocket computer came with a plastic pointer. You can share your notes via the standard email and Evernote services, or save them for your own as PDFs. Also, strokes are saves as vectors – a small thing, but trust me, it’s useful if you’re planning on importing any saved data into any sort of graphic design program.

Papyrus supports HTC’s Scribe Pen on the Flyer, EVO View 4G and the Jetstream, as well as the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet‘s built-in stylus. There’s a distinct lack of support for the Samsung Galaxy Note and its S-Pen, but that’s probably because the app is designed only for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. Once the Note gets its ICS upgrade and/or the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet hits shelves, the app will probably be updated to support the S-Pen SDK. Owners of other tablets can use a passive stylus (the cheap ones you see in all the electronics stores) but will miss out on pressure sensitivity.


  1. I’ve downloaded this app to my Asus TPrime and think it’s great.  I wasn’t sure how to delete a note that I created, so sent them an email.  Only minutes later I received a reply back from them telling me how to do it.  Fantastic customer support.

  2. Thanks Michael for the excellent article! You definitely hit the nail on the head. I just wanted to let everyone know that we do now have support for the Galaxy Note and the S Pen. You were exactly right about the reasons for not supporting the Note initially, however we wanted to enter Samsung’s S Pen Contest (http://galaxynotespenchallenge.com/submissions/6657-papyrus) and that requires it work on the Note running Gingerbread.

  3. Great App… Simple to use… Would like some other functions added but it really shows promise… (eg move notes from one notebook to another, automatically list Notebooks in alphabetical order).
    Undoubtably one of the best Notetaking Apps available – Many thanks Papyrus…

  4. Great App. It replaced my notebook at meetings while I had the Note. Actually one of the main reasons I was reluctant of returning it.

    My only suggestion, would be to have the note sync to a “cloud” that way they can be accessed from any platform.

  5. Great App! I’m using it on my Galaxy Note 10.1 ICS 4.0.4. I’m only missing the widget(s) which can shortcut directly to important notes. I also want to be able to start the App in any place, and not in Home, for example in All Notes or Starred Notes. Well done!


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