Microsoft has promoted its “Journal” Garage project, a note-taking app designed for stylus-enabled devices, into a Windows app.
The app is available for download from the Microsoft store for Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices.
Originally announced in January 2021, Microsoft Journal is an “ink-first” experience, the company said in a blog post. The app lets users write and draw, but it also supports gestures, such as scratching words to delete them or circling pieces of text to select them. It can be used to annotate PDFs, which was the most popular use case back in the days of Garage. According to a pie chart in the blog post, 59% of all page types in Journal were in PDF format.
The app is optimized for tablets and 2-in-1 devices that support digital pens and will also be integrated with Microsoft 365 where users can drag and drop selected content between pages or to other apps. This includes use with the Calendar app.
Microsoft’s Garage is an experimental hub where the tech giant takes user requests and feedback to create and deploy new software and services. With Journal now a fully supported product, Microsoft senior director of engineering Oz Solomon said the tech giant plans to address “the most common requests and a backlog of new features.”
The development of note-taking technology has become a trend for top tech companies. Several third-party services can be found on most app ecosystems, but companies like Microsoft and Huawei are developing device-specific versions.
At MWC, Huawei unveiled the MatePad Paper, which is note-taking hardware. It has been described at IT professional in a hands-on session like somewhere between an e-reader and a tablet, though unlike the Microsoft app, the paper only shows black, white, and gray content. But the trend has a specific audience to target.
“Journal works for people who think about ink because its design is focused on that intimate, tactile experience people have when using a pen. In turn, usage data helps us focus on advancement of this experiment,” said Jacques Chamberland, Senior Program Director of the Journal. , noted.
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