There are so many good note-taking apps out for the iPad that it's hard to believe that someone just came out with one that will probably take the place of the ones we've already installed.
That's the case, though, with PhatPad (US$4.99). From PhatWare, a long-time developer of apps for handhelds and smartphones, PhatPad brings the best of Newton MessagePad note-taking to the iPad. That's right -- I just compared the ahead-of-its-time Apple Newton MessagePad of the 90s with the sleek and powerful iPad.
Two things that the later models of the Newton did very well were to convert handwriting to editable text, and to provide a way to sketch diagrams freehand and have them "cleaned up." By that, I mean that the built-in Newton software was able to take a scrawled circular shape and turn it magically into a perfect circle. It did the same for squares, rectangles and triangles.
PhatPad provides the same capabilities, and then it adds in the sharing capabilities that weren't available even in 1998 when the Newton product line was canceled by Apple. You can take handwritten notes and convert them to text later on, enter text via handwriting into text boxes placed in specific places on a blank page and annotate photos or other images with text or drawings. PhatWare's long experience in the handheld arena definitely shows in PhatPad. The app has many features that haven't been added in other note-taking apps.