What is Windows Ink?
The pen is mightier than the sword. But lately, it seems like the Screen is mightier than the pen. Today, we are using screens for everything including writing, drawing, designing, etc. But, every time we have an idea, the first object we reach for is the pen and a piece of paper. Sitting over a cup of coffee, a tissue paper can become a site of heightened brainwashing and genius. It is perhaps our most natural way of expressing knowledge. Windows Ink has taken the challenge of taking the power of the mighty sword to enhance the power of the screen. Windows want to push the limits of human-computer interactions and make them seamlessly intuitive for anyone to use, and Windows Ink is just that.
Imagine you send a collaborator a presentation deck that needs to be reviewed before it becomes the final presentation. Now imagine you could just take a pen and write the changes needed to the presentation and send it back. The entire experience would be like as if someone had sent you the presentation on paper and you added the changes by hand. This is perhaps the more simple application in designing and illustrating, this pen will be just like drawing on paper that has software to make it better.
Windows ink uses a smart digital pen that is paired with any device via Bluetooth. Another added feature that makes it so versatile is that if your screen is not compatible with pen-inputs, you can just use your tablet connected to your PC and the tablet will work as a drawing pad. This essentially makes the pen, the only piece of hardware that you need apart from the pen input touchscreen your device will need. You can customize the pen’s one-click, double-click, and press-and-hold functions.
In the latest Windows 10 update, the Windows Ink suite includes Sketchpad, sticky notes, and Screen Sketch as the default pen apps. The SketchPad is a blank canvas for you to scribble or draw just like how you would with a pen and paper. While it is certainly not a complete illustration platform, it is great to jot down ideas, draw an idea or create mind maps for your big project. While you can use the Ink suite with touch inputs instead of the pen, the true power of this program is seen when coupled with a pen.
Screen Sketch is sketching or adding notes to a screenshot. If there are only four slides out of a deck that you need to change, you just take a screenshot of each, write or draw the changes needed and send them back. This makes it extremely intuitive and easy to use. You can also add ideas to images you find online, and edit someone's draft like a teacher would correct your homework. It removes the intermediary devices like screens and mouse to create a seamlessly intuitive system with the pen.
Sticky Notes is another feature that’s part of the Ink suite. It's like post-its on your screen. But the new and improved Sticky notes don't just allow you to jot down lists and other essential details, but can also provide you with relevant information regarding what you have written in your notes. If you have written a flight number and a date, it will search on Bing and check if it is delayed or not, if you type in a phone number, it gets ready to call the number. The notes also have different colors to keep work and personal notes separate. There is also a wide range of third-party pen-enabled apps that you can exploit to their fullest potential. The pen and the screen together is the mightiest combination ever.