@Caleb: I recently found myself in need of a portable system for writing while I travel...
The "Notes" app that comes with the iPad is rudimentary to say the least (although I do still use it on occasion).
But for what you want to do, I would totally recomment the Notes Plus app. Thsi is $8.99 from the iPad store and worth every penny. You can type, or use your finger to write cursive (there's also an optional handwriting to text add-in). You can select existing text and change the size, color, font... You can include multiple audio notes on each page. You can draw shapes with your finger and the app will detect whether you are drawing a triangle or a circle or square / rectangle and straignten up the lines and turn it into a resizable object.
I spent many of the PC years fighting with BSOD issues, driver issues, etc., and was often envious of those who bought the expensive desktop machine from that other company and claimed that it always "just works." Back then I was willing to invest a fair amount of my time troubleshooting & fixing software issues because I convinced myself that the money I saved was worth some of my time.
But when the tablet era arrived, I bought one from that other company -- primarily because they happened to be out there first -- and the thing has worked flawlessly ever since. I think I have gotten spoiled now, and have no desire to go back to hackerware, or uninstalling & reinstalling software to see if I can get it to work again, or delving into the nuances of BT or WiFi simply because the thing randomly stops connecting to a network to which it used to connect.
The hardware is first rate in all of these devices and it's rare to encounter an actual hardware problem. But until I'm convinced that software is as universally robust among the various mobile platforms, I'm content to stick with something that "just works."
I really just can't afford to spend all my time making it work and researching the workarounds. I have gotten a lot of responses like... you could root it and then load a custom bluetooth driver to see if that helps... or you could hunt down and buy this one keyboard which we've heard still works...
nope, give me the product that does what it says it will do on the box. thanks.
I totally hear you Caleb, wearing the IT admin hat as the main or occasional responsibility.
I too never liked the idea of beiing controlled by an application (iTune) and not being able to manage my files, HW resources, etc.,and since it was not cool to use an end-user type device from Apple, I avoided that for a long time.
However, after some years of super successful market for iPhone, iPad, and other iThings, I came to belive that Apple is doing somethin right and one of them is to deliver what is advertised\promised in their product. I know many average iPhone, ipad end-users from all ages and background whom their only problem that I have heard they had were caused by physical or water damages and everything is so simple that they can all manage it without any deep technical knowledge.
and While techy guys like you or me were fixing issues on low quality products, the whole world learned how to enjoy their high quality phones/tablets with thousnads of apps poured in the market, hope to hear your feedback again after you adopted to your new ipad.
The ones which worked perfectly for me, were all made by Apple. S3, when I got it from my carrier, was loaded with bloatware and made me want to stomp on it. You always have to tune this & that to make it work properly. All the 5 Apple devices I had, combined crashed on me, may be less than 10-20 times in 3-4 years. While S3 alone crashed on me atleast 200 times in the 8 months I used it. Though I like the several added features in Android(swype, digitiser pen, larger screen), If I want something reliable I will always pick Apple.