Whenever a new technology comes along, be it completely original, or an improvement of an existing invention – it’s never too long before people find ingenious new ways to use it. Such is the case with the Smart Cover.
The best ones make the new technology look even better, and can sometimes change its focus in the long run. While this isn’t directly the case for Evernote Peek, it must be said that it’s a brilliant concept – simply peek under the cover to prepare for a quiz, practice a language or strengthen your memory.
Lets take a look at the newest creation from the ever-productive people at Evernote and see whether it’s a nice gimmick or a truly useful addition to your iPad.
First off I’m going to add a little disclaimer, it’s extremely unlikely that Evernote Peek will be the main contributing factor to anyone acing their exams. While its concept is interesting, it’s no substitute for actually knowing things.
The interesting idea here is that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to use the magnets and folding segments of the Smart Cover to gradually reveal information. Evernote Peek aims to give users a beautifully seamless way of doing just that.
Evernote Peek comes handily preloaded with a notebook that swiftly takes you through the app.
Simply peek under the first fold of the cover to see the clue, lift the cover more for the answer. If you do happen to get a question wrong then simply mark it as incorrect – close the Smart Cover and peek again to see the next clue.
The second page simply explains the best way to optimise the Evernote Peek experience. Simply turn off Auto-brightness, then adjust the brightness to a good level – it’s also worth turning off Auto-Lock.
For each test or quiz that you create you need to start a new notebook. Each note is a question, with the title as the clue and the body as the answer. You can easily connect Peek to an existing Evernote account.
Although relatively time consuming, putting a new quiz together will inevitable help you learn the answers.
It must be said, a very nice job has been done with the interface – it looks great. It’s definitely an app that you could use a lot without getting frustrated. The interaction with the Smart Cover works effortlessly and is surprisingly enjoyable!
The detail and attention to design throughout the app help to make it stand out as a classy addition to the App Store. I particularly like the texture of the notebooks themselves and the use of chalk board style graphic elements.
Evernote Peek has a library of notebooks that you can download and test yourself with, although at the moment it’s relatively small.
I really like the simple, but ingenious, concept that Evernote Peek brings to the table, and it executes it really rather well. The interface looks great and works smoothly, it even gives you a strange kind of enjoyment to use the Smart Cover in an intriguingly unique way. I do, however, have a couple of points to make.
- It does take a while to create a notebook with all of your questions, although I guess it’s a little unavoidable. However, Evernote Peek could make it easier by allowing a streamlined process to be completed within the app itself.
- There is a relatively short limit to the length of question and answer allowed, roughly 45 characters. While this keeps the clue readable and maintains the spacing of the app, it’s another reason why inbuilt quiz creation would be useful – it would stop you accidentally writing questions or answers that don’t fit.
- While this is obviously a minor niggle, it can be annoying that there is no way to scroll through clues without using the Smart Cover. This is particularly frustrating when testing out whether or not a quiz works properly or not.
Evernote Peek is better suited to short questions and answers, maths and simple facts will work most effectively.
I like Evernote Peek. It exemplifies good execution of a simple but powerful idea, doing one thing well. That it’s a free companion app to the excellent, and also free, Evernote proper, is a delightful bonus.
I’m sure there will be many more ingenious uses of the Smart Cover as time goes on, and I hope they will look and feel as good as Evernote Peek does. It’s perfect as a simple revision aid, or for the avid quiz fanatic – well worth a download.