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Jotsy Lets BlackBerry Users Annotate Documents Using Unique Interface

Blackberry PlayBook users will soon have a powerful new weapon in their productivity arsenals. As part of its effort to show its support for a plethora of development standards, RIM invited Mark Rechsteiner of  Canadian development firm Thoughtcorp to show off his upcoming  HTML 5-based annotation application, Jotsy.

Rechsteiner showed that, after opening the application, the user is first presented with a list of available documents to open (shown in the picture above). The documents can be synced with the cloud but are stored locally so the entire application runs offline.

After selecting a file, the user sees that document on a plain white screen, with no overhead menus or toolbars. Rechsteiner explained that this clean look is key for maximizing screen real estate on mobile platforms.

"One of the things we see a lot of developers do with a tablet-based experience is try and take what you have on a laptop or PC and stuff it down into tablets," he said. "So you end up with a big navigation bar across the top and the side. One of the things we caution a lot of developers to do is to really think about real estate and think about how apps are used."

Instead of menu bars, Jotsy has a tiny translucent J icon that floats over the text in the lower-left corner of the screen. Long-pressing on the icon brings up a circular menu that Rechsteiner called the Bear Paw. This menu allows the user to highlight, circle, or scribble notes on top of the document. Left-handed users can also drag the Bear Paw menu to the other side of the screen for easier access.

Jotsy is due to appear in the BlackBerry App World app store around the launch of PlayBook OS 2.