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Evernote buys Penultimate handwriting and drawing app

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Evernote buys handwriting recognition and note-taking app Penultimate.


Less than a week after raising $70 million in financing, Evernote is announcing today that it has purchased the popular Penultimate iPad app. It's not the first acquisition by the company; last year the "remember everything" company bought screen capture sharing app Skitch and integrated it into the larger Evernote ecosystem. We spoke with Evernote CEO Phil Libin and Penultimate's Ben Zotto, and they said that Penultimate, like Skitch, won't be going away. The app itself will live on under the same name, and should get deeper Evernote integration in the coming months. Libin said, "The magic of Penultimate is that it's really simple. Our number one mission is to keep that."

The purchase makes a lot of sense: it adds yet another way to easily add more information to Evernote users' ever-expanding libraries of notes, images, audio, and other content. Evernote's apps offer decent OCR support for searching images for text, and Ben Zotto notes that Penultimate brings its own set of technologies for handwriting recognition that will be "sprinkled into the Evernote system." Libin agreed, saying "this is exactly the handwriting app that we should be doing." Libin also said that he's been talking to Zotto for several years now and he initially tried to talk him into "joining Evernote early on" (Zotto will be joining the Evernote team). Penultimate, which recently added Retina support, will continue to be $0.99 in the App Store.