Evernote is an extremely popular note-taking platform, with clients available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. In a recent update for the Android client, Evernote added handwriting support, including the ability to search handwritten text in documents. The following is taken from the Evernote blog entry.
"Our realization was that a fluid handwriting experience would be one that lets you easily move from writing to typing to taking photos and back all within a single note."
This description sounded like Evernote would be able to work much like Notability. I eagerly updated Evernote on the Tegra Note, but it wasn't quite what I was hoping for.
In Notability, pages are very much like actual blank pages. I can add images, text, and written notes anywhere on a page. Once added, I can select and move any of those objects anywhere within the note. In Evernote, I can indeed add handwriting, but it is placed in vertical order with other "objects". So, I can type some text, then write notes beneath that text (not next to it, or over top of it). Once I had completed the handwriting, I could not find a way to move the writing "object" to another location in the note.
As for the handwriting itself, the Tegra Note worked well, but Evernote did not support the variable widths of the stylus. The pen thickness had to be manually selected from a menu. I was impressed with the text searching. It seemed to find my printed text easily, but did not find results in my cursive writing. That isn't much of a surprise. My cursive writing is quite bad, even on real paper.
Evernote is a platform and service. You can use some of the service for free, and your notes are synchronized to the Evernote cloud service. To get additional storage and features, Evernote is $5 per month or $45 per year. While not terribly expensive, it is not a cheap service, especially in light of Google's recent price changes for Drive ($2 per month for 100GB of storage). Notability is a one-time $3 purchase, and will sync with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and even WebDAV.
My search for a good alternative to Notability continues...