New Livescribe 3 Makes Apple Devices More Delicious

Odds and ends -- you know, everything we commonly refer to as "stuff" because we aren't sure how to classify them. We've been receiving many items recently that fall into that category, or into categories we've covered so recently that it's not time for them to be reviewed. So, with that in mind, here's one of our favorite items that has crept to the top of our "stuff" pile.

The folks at Livescribe hope to win over iPad and iPhone users with the Livescribe 3 smartpen ($149 and $199 depending on which model you want).

We've been Livescribe fans for a long time and were anxious to put this new pen through its paces, but, truthfully, were a bit annoyed when we discovered it will only work with Apple devices. After contacting the company's marketing people, we were assured that an Android version was "in the works" and should hit the market sometime this year.

Apparently there's a compatibility problem with the version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth Smart 4.0) used by the pen that wasn't resolved until the recent Android upgrade to version 4.3.

Also missing is the recording capability we've become addicted to that was included with older versions of the Livescribe pens. But there's a good reason for this: The Livescribe 3 uses the recording capabilities built into the Apple devices. So it's not "gone," just replaced.

On the plus side, this new smartpen is sleeker and more stylish than its predecessors. Plus the power button is gone. Instead there's a metal ring in the middle of the pen that turns it on or off and an LED light that tells you it's on.

Aside from that, the pen does a great job of performing all of the functions we've come to expect from a Livescribe product:

  • It has a high-speed infrared camera that records every keystroke made with the pen.
  • The ability to work with any of the Livescribe paper products.
  • The ability to share files with Evernote.

New features include:

  • It connects to the iPhone 4S and newer, third generation iPads and newer, and the fifth generation iPod Touch and newer.
  • You don't need USB cables (except to charge the pen) or a WiFi connection.
  • Up to 14 hours of use on one charge of the battery.
  • 2GB of internal memory.
  • The Livescribe+ Mobile App converts everything from the pen to the device. It's no longer compatible with Livescribe Desktop.
  • The Livescribe Starter Notebook and Livescribe Journal contain new paper controls that allow you to tag your notes while you write.

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Disclaimer: I have no financial ties to this company.