I'm using the Boox Note Air 2 Plus (firmware version 3.5). Screenshots are below the text.
The handwriting recognition in the Boox notes software is simply excellent. It's better than OneNote and I thought that was the gold standard. It's better than it used to be on older firmware too, so if you haven't updated in a while, it's worth it just for that. However, converting handwriting needs to be easier than it currently is, with fewer steps.
Enabling the option for background AI handwriting recognition in notes (screenshot 1) does not work as I expected. I thought it would recognise my handwriting in the background, so that sharing my notes would be much faster. Even with the option enabled, I need to manually trigger the recognition for each individual page (screenshot 2). This happens even for pages that are several days old and have not been modified before pressing the AI button. Obviously, I might expect to manually request new recognition if the page was modified since the old background recognition.
I contacted support on the device and it's honestly a shame there is no reply button for answers in the Feedback app, because I would like to ask them some further questions about their response (screenshot 3). It seems that manual recognition is now expected for each page "to ensure its effectiveness". Ok, I mentioned above that recognition is so much better now and I could live with that trade-off, but there are a few problems with that approach.
Once a page has been recognised (manually), the machine-generated text remains in the little AI box when I return to that page after going to a different one. That means the page does not need to be "fully recognised every time" (screenshot 3). Also, what does the background recognition button actually do now (screenshot 1)? I think that this might not be a new problem, but the return of an old bug (https://help.boox.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/5192391630356-Background-AI-Does-it-do-anything-).
I can't help but think that the UI is unnecessarily complicated when it comes to optical character recognition (OCR). My notes span several pages and I imagine that most people spending £$€¥₽s on these devices also write more than one page of notes. There has to be a way to convert a range of handwritten pages to typed text that only takes a few clicks. Even if it just copies it all to my clipboard so I can paste it into my email client, notes aggregator, recipe app, PKM, Word processor, etc. I would be happy. Of course, several pages of handwriting would take a long time to convert, so I do think that step 1 would be to get background recognition working again, please.
OCR accuracy is great, but at the moment the process is far too slow for OCR to even be useful. For 6 pages of notes I need to click several buttons to start the recognition on a page, wait for recognition, then another button to copy it, several more to paste it into a word processor or email, then go back into my notes app and repeat those steps for the next 5 pages.
I wouldn't write all this if I didn't enjoy so much about this brilliant device. There have been some great improvements with time to make it more useful and I really hope that trend continues and that the staff listens to some constructive feedback. If anyone has any further suggestions or amendments, I welcome them in the replies. Please see the screenshots below:
Screenshot 1: Background recognition setting is enabled.
Screenshot 2: the OCR process is still only manual (observe the page number to see that this is not a new note)
Screenshot 3: Response to my feedback on the device.
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