PaperHelper is an interesting and impressive iPad app from a pair of teenage developers. It offers a writing app and web browser app rolled into one and seems to be aimed primarily at students writing essays. Here’s a little slice of its App Store intro:
Writing essays just got simpler! With PaperHelper, You can have your source and paper right next to each other.
PaperHelper uniquely splits your iPad screen in half providing you with a Internet Browser and a Document writer.
The initial promo email for the app caught my attention because it was a well-written approach from a 17 year old who is the co-CEO of RumbleApps, the publisher of PaperHelper. The other co-CEO is 16. As impressive as that is, it wouldn’t generally be enough to write about an app – but a quick look at the App Store page for PaperHelper had me interested enough to install the app and take a look. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve seen a few iPad apps that offer several functions in a single app, but the execution on this one sets it apart. The writing side of the app offers a number of good RTF formatting options – including bold, italics, underline, and font and alignment choices.
The browser side lets you add favorite sites to its bookmarks bar and set a home page for it. It loads sites relatively quickly as well.
It’s easy to toggle either side to full-screen mode and then switch back to the combination view, and to copy and paste text from the browser into the writing side.
Tapping the Share button on the toolbar in the Writing side will insert the URL of the page you’re currently into the bottom of your document. This is a very handy feature for keeping track of sources – but I think it definitely needs to use a different icon, not the standard sharing one.
You can email your documents and save them to PaperHelper’s own cloud service. I’d like to see the app add support for iCloud and Dropbox or similar services.
Overall, this looks like quite a useful app – particularly for students, as the developers intended.
Here’s an App Store link for PaperHelper; it’s priced at $1.99.