Evernote’s Penultimate handwriting app goes free, Hello gains business card scanning

Acquired last year, Evernote’s Penultimate iPad app helps you jot down notes and draw sketches using your finger. It’s like having a Galaxy Note just without, you know, a pen. Penultimate 4.0 was launched this morning and Evernote kindly decided to offer it free of charge (it used to be a paid download). It’s tightly integrated with Evernote and your handwritten notes now sync fully via the cloud with your other Evernote content.

In fact, you can now open handwritten notes on any device that has the Evernote app. Plus, Evernote search is fully baked in and it’s quite clever, too: the cloud is able to parse your digital ink notes and turn them into easily searchable text. The new version also comes with more sharing options and support for eleven languages. Did I mention that Penultimate now doesn’t cost a dime?

This version of Penultimate requires iOS 6 and Evernote assures us the iOS 5 support is coming in the next update. Additional paper and pen types are available as in-app purchases.

A blog post by Evernote explains how searching handwritten notes works:

Handwriting is processed on the Evernote servers, which means that you need to give Penultimate a few minutes to sync before you can expect results to show up. To make notes even easier to find, we also recommend that you give your notebooks useful titles, which you can do by tapping on the title on the cover of a closed notebook.

A few screenshots.

Your changelog:

• full Evernote sync: Save all of your Penultimate notes to your Evernote account to keep, view, and search them across every device where you have Evernote installed
• handwriting search with Evernote: Evernote’s powerful handwriting recognition allows you to search your Penultimate notes
• remember Everything: Evernote stores all of your Penultimate notes forever, ensuring that everything, from random doodles to important diagrams, are available any time you need them
• redesigned: Now sporting a lovely new design
• improved: sharper ink on retina displays
• more languages: Available for the first time in Russian and Traditional Chinese

You can download Penultimate free of charge for your iPad over at the App Store.

In other Evernote news, the company updated its Hello app with a new look, the ability to scan business cards and lots more.

Evernote Hello version 2.0 makes it easy to remember everything about everyone you meet by snapping a picture of their business card, connecting with nearby Evernote Hello users via Hello Connect.

Evernote Hello 2.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)Evernote Hello 2.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

It can even create a quick profile from LinkedIn, Facebook, your calendar appointments or your address book.

Here’s your promo clip.

Evernote Hello is also free so give it a try if you haven’t already.