Innovative concept; Multitude of content-creation tools
Crashes frequently; Finicky touch controls; Interface is difficult to learn
Tapose aims to breathe new life into Microsoft's nixed Courier concept, but ultimately, this app isn't ready for prime time.
Years ago, when Microsoft axed its Courier device--a 7-inch dual-screen multitouch tablet--legions of tech fanatics were sorely disappointed. But now, the Courier experience has been revived as an app on the iPad. Taposé has the complete Courier look, including the famous split-screen functionality and "true" multitasking. But is this $2.99 app's implementation just as brilliant as the concept that inspired it?
How it Works/Setup
When you open Tapose in landscape mode, you're presented with two panels divided by the Slide Bar. With the Slide Bar in the middle, you get the familiar Courier-esque split-screen view, and it can be moved to the left or right, but only in landscape mode. In fact, we don't recommend using Tapose in portrait mode, as only one panel is visible at a time.
With our journal stretched two pages across our entire display, we flipped through pages either by swiping or tapping on the folded page corners at the top, or applying a two-finger swipe on the actual page. Tapping on the page number indicator on the notebook's top right corner opened a drop-down list of functions including Undo, Search, Index, Share and Settings. Index showed us a list of pages within our active journal, and holding down on a page let us reorder them as we saw fit. Within Options, we chose from a collection of stationery -- ranging from notebook paper to plain, blank pages -- and wrist guard positions, which helped us avoid accidental marks on our journal pages.
Users can import Maps and websites in one of two ways: either through the Lasso tool, or by using the Export function. However, those elements--be it a URL or a map--will only remain interactive if you use the Export feature. Otherwise, they're essentially screenshots.
Journals are uploaded to the cloud, where you can share it with other Taposé users. We opened a journal in one panel, and loaded the contacts widget in the opposite panel. Afterward, we clicked and dragged the desired contact into the journal to share it with that person. (You can also share journals through the Share icon in My Collections.)
Unlike a Google Doc, only one person can edit a Journal at a time, and, for the moment, only other Tapose users can edit them. You can also export journals as a PDF through email, Dropbox or Evernote.
Tapose's performance disappoints. Big time. It crashed multiple times and often wildly misinterpreted our taps and gestures, making the overall experience very frustrating. Even the simplest of tasks, such as turning pages within a journal (a two-finger swipe) resulted in us inadvertently scribbling on the page instead. The animation of flipping often lagged, making us wonder if our gesture had even registered in the first place.
We weren't big fans of the drawing tools, either -- we've seen smoother and more responsive implementation in apps such as SketchBook Pro and Penultimate. The button at the bottom of the Slide Bar (pictured) was incredibly difficult to deal with, too. We tapped and dragged it upward with the intention of opening the Control Hub, but the Slide Bar moved around wildly, confused whether we were trying to open up the dock or slide the bar toward a particular position.
The idea of bringing Courier back to life as an app was a bold one, but its execution needs some work. At first glance, Tapose seems to keep the core functionality of Microsoft's never-released tablet intact, but the app is buggy, unresponsive and frustrating to use. We aren't ruling out the possibility that it could still make significant strides with future updates, but for now, it's best left buried.