Thanks to the “heads up” by Tony Vincent on Twitter, I am happy to announce that SMART Notebook for the iPad has arrived. The app sells for $6.99, and as a former SMART-Certified trainer (I chose to not pursue certification for Smart Notebook 11) and an employee at a school where every teaching station has a SMART Board, I immediately bought the app.
First, an item of direct disclosure: the SMART Notebook app will NOT allow your iPad to be run/controlled by your SMART Board. It allows you to open and edit SMART Notebook files on an iPad, which can then be mirrored to your screen. Students could use the app and open SMART Notebook presentations provided to them by their teacher.
Although I still need to spend more time with the app, it works, And it seems to work well. I was able to create and export Notebook files as well as to import existing Notebook files.
The pen functions work, importing images works, adding text works, and you can even make an object an infinite clone tool and attach a recorded (as in one you make in the app, on the iPad) audio file. I have not yet tested the app's ability to import existing sounds or export recorded sounds in a Notebook file.
Major items of “missing” functionality include the ability to set the order of items, to group items, to make objects have a transparent background (and there are weird occurrences when you bring one of these in via an existing Notebook). Some fonts do not appear from imported Notebooks. The magic pen function is not yet available. You cannot create a background, but if you import a Notebook file with a background, it will work. You cannot import a PowerPoint or Keynote file. And any Flash-based activities will not (and eill never) work.
SMART promises to continue the develop this app, so I'm not worried. The app operates just like a SMART Board, so there are no multi-touch gestures for new users to learn. Object sizing and placement works well, and the app allows you to open files from e-mail, Dropbox, and more. In other words, the app has all the functionality that most basic SMART Board users would use.
The winning point of this app, above all others, is that you can use an existing presentation and annotate over it. Keynote does not allow for annotation, and PowerPoint isn't even on the iPad. So this is a win for education, and I hope for SMART. They need to market this app to the entire PowerPoint/Keynote/Presentation crowd.
Congratulations, SMART! Nice job! It's a great start, SMART!