TechWeb

Taposé's Split Screen For The iPad: A Visual Tour

Mar 29, 2012 (01:03 PM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=232700380


Available in the App Store for $2.99, Taposé was inspired by the never-released dual-screen Microsoft Courier tablet. It launched as a Kickstarter funded project and surpassed its $10,000 goal on May 21, 2011, ending with $26,561 pledged to the project. The two-person development team reportedly even attracted a pledge from J. Allard who led Microsoft's Courier tablet project before leaving the company. Taposé is similar to Microsoft Windows 8's snap feature, which lets two normally-full-screen Metro apps appear in two panes, but Taposé's multitasking capabilities are much more limited.




The first thing you see after launching Taposé is a tutorial. Don't be fooled by the tutorial's double-page layout--you're not in Taposé's dual-pane mode yet.




The centerpiece of Taposé is Journal, a very capable note-taking app that lets you create and save multimedia-rich pages. Taposé gives you plenty of tools to get the job done, whether it's directions for friends or notes from the conference. Tapping on the pencil cup icon in the upper left of the screen accesses most of the input tools: Pencil, Eraser, Highlighter, Font, Sticky Notes, and Media (audio, images, video). The scissors icon is a little misleading--it actually launches a lasso selector for creating custom screenshots. There are a fair number of formatting options for making your typed text look nice. At any time you can see a list of your pages and change the paper design or wrist guard settings for different writing styles when using a stylus. When you're finished, you can print a journal or share it via email, Dropbox or Evernote.




The Control Hub is where you go to switch out one app for another. It's even a snap to change which pane an app is running in; just drag its icon to the left or right pane. Icons for the most recently used apps appear at the bottom of the screen.




Tapping Login launches a registration window to create a free Taposé cloud account. The free account provides 400MB of storage for Taposé Journals and associated media. Unlimited storage costs $29.99 per year.




Once you've created an account, the Login button is replaced by account stats, including the amount of cloud storage space used.




Taposé's main claim to fame is its ability to display two apps simultaneously. To split the screen, you simply pull the black slide bar on the left (with the pencil cup icon) to the middle of the screen and voila, a second panel. Any of the five included apps can be launched in either panel, and--with the exception of the calculator--the same app can be in both panes at the same time. For instance, you could view two Web pages or two of your Journal pages at once. The slide bar also serves as a clipboard. Unfortunately, clipping is limited and might be a little buggy. For instance, only Map pushpins can be copied to the clipboard and once they've been pasted into a Journal page they're inactive and useless. The Calculator does not work with the clipboard at all. When I tried to select an image from a Web page that had multiple images, sometimes the image made it into the clipboard, and sometimes it didn't.




The clipboard does have at least one nice collaboration feature. When you copy a Contact, Taposé asks if you want to share the Journal with the contact or add the contact information to a Journal page.




Taposé can use the iPad's camera to take pictures, which it places in its clipboard for use in Journal pages. Taposé deposits photos dragged from the clipboard onto a page at about 60% to 80% of their full size, and sometimes without regard for orientation. Fortunately, it's easy to pinch to reduce photos and manually turn them right side up. Images are handily translucent before final placement. One note: Taposé doesn't copy photos to the iPad's photo album. In other words, photos taken with Taposé are available only for use in Taposé. If you want complete control over your photos you'd be better off taking them using the iPad's camera app and then importing them into Taposé.




Theoretically, Taposé Journal pages can contain a mix of media ranging from your drawings, photos, and typed notes to items you pull from the Web, the Contacts app, and the Maps app. Unfortunately, there are lots of limitations in what you can copy and what the copied item can do once it's in your Journal page. Maps, for example, lack most of the features of the Maps app. Some websites don't work right in Taposé's browser. For instance, I was not able to log in at Twitter.com, where I wanted to copy tweets for pasting into my Journal.

Taposé 1.0.0 might have too many problems right now to be the go-to note-taking app. However, it does promise a better way to be more productive on an iPad. If nothing else, it gives iPad users an idea of what they'll miss if they don't partake of Windows 8 and its snap feature for viewing two full-screen Metro apps in two side-by-side windows.