ZeptoPad 2.0 - virtual whiteboard with real time display

ZeptoPad 2.0

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars; needs better speed for sketching, snap to grid, and a cleaner UI

What: A vector based drawing app for the iphone and iPod touch that allows you to create mindmaps, diagrams and just about replace your moleskine notepad for portable brainstorming.

Where: appstore link

Who: some smart folks in Japan with a crazy company name: UBIQUITOUS ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Why: I was looking for an all-in-one inbox that supports freeform input but with LARGER than screen saves. I use Sketches to create pictures or words then manipulate them using the excellent Photoboard to create a composite collage which can then be captured to the Saved Photos album. ZeptoPad 2.0 came out just in time

UPDATE: I just read a review of Zeptopad that compared it to other sketch apps. This is a fallacy like comparing apples to oranges.

The whole point of why ZeptoPad has an advantage over painting ink apps is that each vector path is an object that can be resized and manipulated, more importantly the canvas is HUGE (click the thumbnail below of a feedback map I made and how big the ZeptoPad export is).

There is currently NO app other than ZeptoPad that has these features. Mindmapping apps (BlueSky, iThoughts) while wonderful cannot add freeform lines, have photos as nodes, or rotate outside of fixed constraints.


  • UPDATE: You can copy/move a selected object from one worksheet(drawing) to another! Very cool.
  • Real-time interactive whiteboard - connect to your Mac and what you draw in ZeptoPad is what you see in real time on the desktop screen
  • Supports Ad Hoc wifi (my router done be broke) so I can connect ZeptoPad to my Mac without a router.
  • Saves your creations as jpg, PDF and backup file. The output pics are indeed larger than the iphone screen
  • Bigger canvas to create! much larger than iphone/ipod touch screen
  • Pinch and zoom to expand and shrink figure and whole drawings
  • Cut, copy, move, rotate and paste figures. Let me say that again, with ZeptoPad you can CUT, COPY, MOVE, ROTATE, and PASTE your scribblings. Try doing that with other digital ink doodling or sketch apps.
  • Type text using iphone keyboard as a figure and shrink and enlarge
  • import and export of thumbs from Saved Photos album in camera roll
  • Change color of lines and text selections; color code your mobile mindmaps
  • UNDO and REDO of your actions.
  • costs $10 with no free lite preview version to try out. UPDATE: They now have a freeware version!
  • poor to fair drawing speed with free form figures and lines; even the freeware scribbler is faster but to be fair, ZeptoPad is vector based which have more flexibility than doodling apps for editing. Need for speed!
  • no basic shapes in toolset; just free form lines and text from keyboard
  • User experience/workflow is clunky: 1 Draw or type, 2 reposition figure/text, 3 repeat as needed, 4 connect with lines; ZeptoPad needs a snap to grid feature
  • No grouping of worksheets in Directory. All your creations (worksheets) are in 1 pot.
  • Non-intuitive user interface sucks, 1980's menus and so un-Apple like as to make Steve Jobs grimace: please UEI take a look at Photoboard UI and see how clean and minimal that is with its local circular menu per figure.
  • figures are automatically grouped so you have to select them individually in order to separate them. User is constantly needs to select menu to move any figure. It gets tiresome folks. Again look at use of proximity as with Photoboard.
  • No landscape, so you must pinch and shrink for longer words or wider figures
  • Mindmapping apps: like iThoughts, BlueSky, MindMaker
  • Drawing apps: doodler apps like Sketches, Scribbler, Zibbler
  • Miscellaneous: ThinkDigits, Photoboard
Verdict: do the Japanesa!

Value is relative, but I'm satisfied with my purchase.
ZeptoPad brings to the Apple appstore something unique and has really no competition despite the listing above.
I'm free to pour ideas on a multitouch canvas larger than the physical screen and manipulate the various 'thoughts' or ideas represented as text and figures unlike any all-in-one application.
The workflow to create is slow and takes many steps but the freedom outweights that. I may consider a mindmapper like iThoughts for speed.
The realtime interactive whiteboard is cool but gimmicky and I can't currently see a use for it though it reminds me of the old Margi presentation system from Palm days.
If you have falling $10 USD to spare from starving yourself from lattes4apps and you're into that 43Folders/GtD/Moleskine crowd pick up zany ZeptoPad.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm Ryo Shimizu, innovator of ZeptoPad.

    This is a great advice for us! Thank you very much for suggesting.

    We try to make good this product.