I’m going to take a crack at adding some pen support to the Joplin app. I’d like your thoughts and opinions on how you guys think this would support your needs.
Quick background on myself: I’m a software engineer, and I have a lot of experience working on WPF Windows desktop applications with material design and MVVM. I currently work for a company developing medical devices. I’m no electron expert, and it will take me a bit to ramp up to how I need to integrate features into Joplin, but I’ll do my best. I’ve been using Joplin for a while now, so I want to give back some.
Ok, on to the fun stuff. I’d first like to focus first on pen integration with the iPad. IMO, this tablet would have the largest initial ROI on feature distribution.
There’s a couple things I want to keep at the forefront of my mind while developing this feature. Pen development (at least in mind) can either be awesome, or just really terrible depending on the implementation. I’ve used some pen implementations on different devices in the past, and because the experience was so bad, I never ended up using it. Because of this, I think I’d like to try something like the following:
Based on the underlying OS (iPad OS/iOS or Android), rather than building/integrating drawing features based on a drawing library or standing one up from scratch, I’d like to integrate the OS’ native Pen feature set into Joplin. My two paths forward for the iPad below:
- Have the ability to take notes directly from the notes app and display in Joplin, with the ability to edit them and have the resulting edit reflected in Joplin. This could look something like the current PDF display, with the note attachment displayed as a file link, and the preview beneath. To do the back and forth transfer of the attached note file in Joplin to the Notes app, I’d assume the iPad OS/iOS sharing feature will need to be utilized.
- I’d also like to see the integration of Notability into Joplin. There are obviously a ton of note taking apps across the appleverse, but Notability has a ton of followers and usage. They also maintain a huge feature set. There’s some 3rd party work on open-sourcing the .note file that Notability uses under the hood, and Notability already has their own file syncing capability for redundant backups. That capability could then be used to update a note in Notability, back it up to a server (like google drive), and have an applet push that note to the joplin backup sync instance to automagically grab the latest resource for an attachment and update it for you (assuming that’s what you want, I’m sure there’d need to be some configurability there).
Past that, I’d not sure what’d need to happen for the desktop apps and android apps. For desktop, I’m assuming that the biggest users on the windows desktop would be wacom/drawing tablet owners, surface owners (and by extension, windows tablet mode users), and maybe those wanting to draw with a mouse (you interesting people). For the mac side, sidecare is now a big thing, so I’d assume that iPad support for the mac desktop app using sidecar would be desired. Android tablet owners, there’s so many options, feedback here would be good as I don’t do anything there.
And finally that leave mobile (small) devices. Android and iPhones. I’m really not sure how appropriate drawing tools would be on these smaller screens, but I’m open to opinions.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to hearing your thoughts!