Take and share notes via e-mail, with some exceptions

Organize, record, and share notes by subject and chapter with ClassMateLite, but expect some trade-offs with ads and glitchy functionality.

The iPad is a perfect device for taking and sharing notes. There are dozens of apps available that provide this exact functionality, so ClassMateLite is only one of many options in a very crowded field. This is partially what makes it so hard to recommend the app as a viable solution for note taking. The app is designed to look and feel like a notebook, but the actual interface consists almost entirely of large, often stretched buttons, an awkward text input and blocky instructions.

While the app has only a handful of features, it took us some time to find and use each of them in turn. When opening the app, you select a subject and then a chapter from that subject, ostensibly to mimic a real notebook. You can then write notes in that notebook as well as add photos. This is a useful function, but is limited in that it does not access your camera, only your photo library. Additionally, there are ads in the lite version that can be distracting (especially when taking notes in class) and the final PDF that the program creates when sharing is poorly formatted and does not always send properly.

The concept behind ClassMateLite is wonderful. A simple app designed to organize your coursework by subject and chapter, and make sharing a snap. But the execution is limiting. Functions are unnecessarily complex, sharing does not always work properly, the interface is clunky and unattractive, and the ads are very distracting -- even for a free app. There are many other note taking apps (many of them free) that are better polished and offer more features. We recommend downloading one of them.

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