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Paper - Notes, Photo Annotation, and Sketches by FiftyThree

By FiftyThree, Inc.


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When inspiration happens, put it on Paper. Paper is the best way to capture and connect your notes, photos, and sketches. Create checklists, spotlight details in photos, and sketch diagrams with unbeatable speed and ease — Paper is like a wall of sticky notes for everything that inspires you.

Paper’s swipe-to-style formatting makes creating checklists and notes faster and more fun than any other app. The photo spotlight tool helps you quickly clarify essential details.

Bring text, photos, and sketches together. Keep your ideas organized, and see everything in one place to make connections you can’t see in siloed lists.

Paper’s unique visual notes are designed to help you get your point across quickly and precisely. Paper also lets you share your ideas any way you want to, including as professionally-formatted PDFs, Keynote and Powerpoint presentations.

The original iPad version of Paper is a winner of Apple’s App of the Year and is used by millions around the world. The Universal version adds support for iPhone, in addition to text, photos, and sketching, all beautifully designed for touch. Paper is completely free with no in-app purchases.

What's New in Version 3.0.3

This build brings bug fixes and first-use improvements.

Paper comes to the iPhone! The biggest update in the app’s history, Paper now lets you capture images, notes, and sketches at the tap of a button. Love the update? Please give us a review! Need help? Please contact us at


Swipe-to-style notes
Swipe on text to quickly create and rearrange checklists and headers. The fastest way to capture notes.

Photo Spotlighting
Tap on photos to instantly spotlight a detail, or draw custom areas. Write notes and draw on photos.

Powerful tools
All of Paper’s world-class tools to draw, sketch, annotate photos, and quickly create diagrams.

Fresh perspective
Organize and make connections between your ideas in Paper’s beautiful, visual home.

Communicate clearly
Paper creates beautiful PDFs, Keynote and Powerpoint files to share your ideas.


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iPad Screenshot 1
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Customer Reviews

UPDATE: Only Mildly Disappointing

This has been one of my favorite apps for years, even if I didn’t use it daily. Earlier in the year when the ‘shape’ functionality was added it became a very helpful tool in my job for sketching out page design ideas. With this latest release, which I only just now used, the app has become essentially useless. I don’t mind the new zoom feature but the loss of the ‘two finger undo’ is a big productivity killer. That’s unfortunate but the biggest loss of functionality is the apps ‘smart’ functionality where your hand is ignored if you’re using the Pencil. EDITED: I opened the app this morning to give it one last go and noticed that the Pencil was being recognized again even if my hand is on the screen. Turns out that if its not at the proper angle, it won't get registered and I think that's what happened with me when I first reviewed the update. Same with the "eraser" function, it's all about the angle. I don't recall this being the case before.

That being said, the text and list part of the app is pretty pointless. This is an artist or designer app, not a note taking one.

So, to edit my own review, it doesn't look like as much was destroyed as initially thought, which is good. I still maintain that the app isn't as focused as it was and could do without the text functionality. Bringing back the two-finger delete should be priority one though. That is essential.

Great New Features, Poor Transition, Doesn't Understand Users

Like many of the other reviewers, I purchased the original tools in Paper before everything was free. I want to like this app like I used to, but the changes are so drastic and I can't.

First the good... there are easy options to create PDFs, presentations, and physical prints of your books and they work really well. A+ for that as well as the cloud backups. Unfortunately that's all the good.

The bad... everything else. The book-style way of navigating, opening, closing, changes pages is gone. It was so much more intuitive to "pinch" your fingers to close a book. Not to mention the fast scrolling through the pages of a book worked great. No more, all the pages take awhile to load and are displayed all at once. Pulling up the tool bar is also often confused with bringing up Apple Mission Control. Undo has changed from the two finger counter-clockwise gesture to actual icons, which is a pain because you need to have the Tool Bar in the current view to undo. The list goes on.

+++Note to FiftyThree team+++
Understand your users liked your app and it's ease of use, and never asked for more features. We all understand your need to add features to stay relevant. They are often good features with great implementation like cloud backups and exporting books. However, changing the way the tool looks and feels is a terrible idea. If you want to do it, provide options to retain the previous UI.

Toiletpaper 53

Paper 53’s greatest strength has always been efficiency. It’s not a full illustration package, and it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, it’s a great way to sketch out ideas: wireframes, UI concepts, logo concepts, diagrams, etc. This is why I bought the Pencil stylus and every IAP released (before they all became free). I used this app almost daily as the earliest stages of my own creative workflow.

And then the 3.0 update landed and absolutely ruined the app. Gone is the efficiency that made this such a great conceptualization tool, replaced with a ui that adds layers and layers of interactions, taps, and swipes to accomplish the simplest of tasks - tasks that I used to accomplish without even thinking about it… like swiping between notebook pages, adding pages, quickly opening and closing notebooks to switch between them, or the brilliant two-finger-undo gesture. All of those things are gone, as is the workflow I've relied on for years.

This has gone from my most recommended creative tool to something I hate and barely recognize. I hope 53 fixes these problems soon, because there really isn’t a single viable alternative to the old Paper app on the App Store.

Paper - Notes, Photo Annotation, and Sketches by FiftyThree
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Productivity
  • Updated:
  • Version: 3.0.3
  • Size: 88.0 MB
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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