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myNotebook - DSiWare App Review

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myNotebook: Blue/Red/Green

DSiWare | Nnooo | 1 Player | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
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4th March 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

The first of hopefully many more to come, myNotebook is a lifestyle application that's part of Nnooo's new myLifeConnected series for DSiWare. The app comes in three different-coloured releases for only 200 points a pop. For such a modest price, Nnooo's first DSiWare release has successfully provided DSi owners with an extremely useful application. 

    What you use myNotebook for is really up to you and your imagination! You can use it to create to-do lists, plan your day, play paper games, act as a dream log and even use it to record phone numbers! Whatever you end up using it for, myNotebook is not only very practical, but it's also very convenient. All you have to do is simply pop open your DSi, start it up, hold it like a book and start writing. This saves precious time that may otherwise be spent searching fruitlessly for real-life notebooks that could be anywhere in your home (or even in your school locker).

    Each release comes with standard tools and devices that you'd hope to see from a digital notebook such as this. On the sidebar, you can choose one of 5 ink colours (i.e., black, blue, red, green, and white) and even adjust the line stroke and heavyness. You also have the ability to use a little eraser if you make a mistake, or clear a whole page with two taps of your stylus. It would've been nice if you could use a slightly larger eraser though. Overall, writing with the stylus feels very natural and even writing small text is just the right size too. 

Button presses are used to navigate around the application. You can flip the page with the press of the left or right buttons on the D-Pad, and go forward or backward 10 pages by pressing Up or Down, respectively. If you'd like to write on the opposite page, Nnooo used a very interesting approach. You press the A, B, X, or Y Button and rotate your DSi 180 degrees, allowing you to write on the page on the left. If you'd like to return to the normal set up, simply press any button on the D-Pad, and rotate your DSi again to start writing on the page on the right. It may seem weird at first, but you get so used to it that it quickly becomes second nature.

    The Select button will bring up a Pause Menu where you can toggle options and settings the way you like. Pressing the Start Button will send you straight to the front cover of the notebook. As you write on a page, the sidebar will automatically disappear and when you stop writing with the stylus, the sidebar re-appears. If you find the sidebar to be obstructing your view, you can hide the sidebar completely with the press of the L or R Button (depending on what page you're writing on) and control it manually. It's great that Nnooo allowed you to turn off the Hints feature, as this removes the dialog boxes that cover the adjacent pages. All of the stylus and button controls are mapped really well and they're definitely something you can get used to after a few minutes of experimenting. 

DSi owners can personalize their apps to the way they most feel comfortable. You can doodle and write on both the outside and inside page of the notebook cover to make your own stylized cover page. Players can toggle between different line strengths and colours, as well as lined-style and grid-style settings. By using the application regularly, you can unlock different coloured pages that can be selected in the Unlockables menu. You can unlock pages with dotted line patterns, pages with coloured backgrounds and even a special bubble-themed page for owners of Pop+ Solo.  Sadly, there are no settings for blank paper, which would've been perfect for doodling. 

    The fundamentals of the application have a distinguished sense of quality to them. Not willing to settle for just a series of lined pieces of paper, Nnooo's efforts to incorporate little elements here and there ultimately are what make myNotebook succeed in the long run. Still, there are a few minor areas for improvements where the application would have stood out a bit more in terms of innovations. Although the music in the game is rather uplifting and rarely gets old, some may have appreciated more music tracks to choose from. It would've been neat, as well, if there was a function where you could browse several thumbnails of the pages in your book and skip to the one you would like to access. For such a reasonable price, though, you can't complain too much for what you're getting and we can only hope that the next app will be even stronger.

    With a good focus towards personalization and 32 pages to doodle and go crazy on, myNotebook is most definitely worth the asking price. Don't be surprised if you find yourself inclined to getting more than one colour. It's extremely handy and almost all DSi owners will be able to appreciate its practicality. We can't wait to see what other apps Nnooo will come up with!

27/30 - Excellent

Functionality 9/10 - Extremely handy, slightly above what you'd expect, some awkwardness in page turning but you get used to it
Presentation 8/10 - Great music, good options for personalization, great tools to make use of, more music would've been even better
Lasting Appeal 5/5 - There's no denying that you'll find yourself coming back to this many times for one reason or another
Value 5/5 - Very reasonable for only 200 points, will see plenty of uses for on-the-go or even home use, almost an essential purchase

Equivalent to a score of 90% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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myNotebook Blue/Red/Green
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