Penultimate, The Hand-Writing iPad App Acquired Last Year By Evernote, Is Now Free

Productivity technology Evernote has been hard at work lately. Alongside the dramatic update to its personal contacts app Hello (which you can read about here), today Evernote also released an updated version of Penultimate, the popular handwriting app it acquired in May 2012.

The most notable part about the new Penultimate is that the app, which previously cost 99 cents to download, is now free. That was a “non-trivial decision,” Evernote CEO Phil Libin said in an interview this week, as the app was bringing in a healthy revenue stream. But, he said, the change fits into Evernote’s larger policy of making its core products free and charging dedicated users for extras.

Evernote has also tweaked Penultimate with a host of across-the-board updates such as a new UI design, handwriting search, sharper ink on retina displays, new languages such as Russian and Chinese, and of course a deeper integration with Evernote that also syncs your Penultimate data across other devices in which you use Evernote.

The two app updates put out by Evernote today represent two “completely different philosophies” for the company, Libin said. While Hello was a full-scale app redesign for Evernote, Penultimate’s makeover was more subtle. “The design brief for the Penultimate update was to make it a little better, but don’t break something that’s already great,” he said.

You can download Penultimate for iPad here.

And here is a video of the new Penultimate in action: