Bye-bye, iPad chicken scratch

Smart Script makes handwritten notes much better on Apple tablets.

Apple didn’t give iPadOS a ton of time during Monday’s whiplash-inducing WWDC24 keynote, but the marquee new feature looked very impressive. It’s called Smart Script, and it cleans up your handwriting when you’re taking notes on an iPad, among other things.

Our writer Ed Hardy, a big iPad fan, threw caution to the wind and downloaded the first iPadOS 18 developer beta so he could check out this new feature ASAP. And he says Smart Script proved surprisingly versatile.

“Cleaning up your text is only the start,” Ed writes. “Once you’ve handwritten something, Smart Script can help you format it.”

The new feature lets you do some pretty cool things with an iPad and an Apple Pencil. Here’s his hands-on look at Smart Script in iPadOS 18.

Also in today’s newsletter:

  • If you were thinking about downloading one or more of the fresh betas so you could check out Apple Intelligence, don’t waste your time. The AI features are nowhere to be found.

  • Maybe you wondered who’s paying who in Apple’s deal with OpenAI to weave ChatGPT into iPhone, Mac and iPad operating systems. Sounds like the answer is: nobody.

  • Need more AirTags? Don’t miss this deal on an AirTag four-pack. (You’ll find discounts on various Apple Pencils at that same link.)

  • Heist flicks are always better when they’re filled with equal parts action and humor. The first trailer for upcoming Apple TV+ movie The Instigators makes it look like a winning combo. Watch the trailer now.

— Lewis Wallace, managing editor

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A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

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One more thing ...

Who wants a stylus? You have to get ‘em, and put ‘em away, and you lose ‘em — yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.

— Steve Jobs, 2007, talking about the iPhone’s revolutionary touchscreen.

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