Microsoft's Plumbago is a digital notebook app designed to allow users to write text, add highlights, make sketches and even draw on their devices using either pen or pencil strokes.
Derived from a type of flowering plant as well as the Latin word for "graphite," Plumbago may have taken its inspiration from other apps that are currently on the market. These include Paper by FiftyThree, which is particularly used among iOS devices, and OneNote, which is a popular note-taking app featured in Microsoft's Office suite.
While the OneNote app is regarded as the primary note-taking app on Microsoft's Surface tablets, the new Plumbago app seems to gear more toward a creative representation of writing.
Plumbago allows users to doodle and add art to their written work. They can choose from a number of elegant color palettes, realistic inks and variously designed papers. These include yellow ruled paper that has margin lines in pink, lined paper, grid paper, sketching paper, music sheets and a whole lot more.
One interesting feature of the app is its built-in "handwriting beautification" technology, which incorporates stroke-matching of thousands of doodles made by the user. This allows the user's handwriting to become easier to read later.
Users can also adjust the app's smoothing level when trying to achieve a beautiful handwriting.
The app also features unlimited notebooks, making it easy for users to organize ideas, notes and writing.
As the Plumbago app is still in an experimental phase, it is expected to have a few glitches here and there.
One of the issues found in the app is its lack of ability to recognize whether the user has placed the paper in portrait mode, something that is usually done when taking notes on a tablet. Although the app shows the page in full, it fails to recognize the ink, which stopped writing from the middle toward the bottom of the page.
Some users also see little to no difference when they use the app's handwriting smoothing feature. The issue seems to continue even after they have adjusted the feature's slider bar.
Other notable highlights of the app include the ability to trace, highlight and annotate imported image files; easy page navigation; ability to share pages or copy certain areas to the clipboard and the ability to see one's writings or drawings spanning an indefinite number of pages.
Microsoft's Plumbago can now be downloaded for free from the Microsoft Garage site and the Windows Store.