iPad OS app: The one with an infinite canvas?

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knew the name of the app that lets you take handwritten notes/diagrams/sketches with a zoom-in/explode feature where you could zoom into part of your note to have another set of notes. For instance, you might have the drawing of a tree with all the parts of the tree, and then pinch “out” to zoom into a branch which would have a the parts of the branch, and then zoom into a leaf to have the parts of the leaf?

It has been on the “suggested apps” by Apple a few times, but now that I think that I need it, I can’t find it.

Concepts? Explain Everything?


CONCEPTS! Thank you!

No prob. It’s one of my favourite things on the App Store. The customization is :star_struck:. I bought the pro pack or whatever a long time ago and it’s been well worth it.

They offer a subscription–looks like about $40USD/yr for everything, but there’s also a one-time “Essentials” pack for $21 plus a bunch of add-ons. Did you subscribe?

No, just bought the Essentials. Far as I remember the benefit of the subscription is credits for the resources they offer. But! You can create your own collections, which I’d prefer anyway.

When I had an iPad I freaking loved Concepts. When Serenity Caldwell did a write-up of iPad sketching apps for iMore (prior to begin hired by Apple) I tweeted at her because she left that app out of her comparison; it hadn’t even been on her radar. Sadly, iMore still ignores the app in its current round-ups.

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ZoomNotes offers an infinite-canvas mode as well. For creating line-drawings and taking hand-written notes, I prefer ZoomNotes over Concepts. I also prefer ZoomNotes in general because it offers a larger tool set and a greater range to configure its tool sets directly out of the box.


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I’ve bought ZoomNotes, tried it for a while, and found it really buggy. For example:

  • Handoff never worked properly, always creates a cloud sync conflict.
  • Folders doesn’t work; the groupings that I created on the iPad doesn’t get transferred over to the Mac.
  • General complexity and buggy-ness of tools – select a tool and it became unselected, etc.

If I needed a macOS version of a drawing app, I certainly would not choose ZoomNotes. It is simply not well-designed in UI, stability, and ease of use compared to competitors. I had show stopping UI issues with the iPadOS version some years ago. My biggest issue with the current version remains the approach to showing “folders as boxes” on the main screen, the sluggishness of certain operations, and the cartoonish-looking choice of icons for the tools. I return to the iPadOS version because no other drawing app offers the feature set that I want. Granted, the extensive options that one has to configure the app can also make it either a pain to wade through for easy use or a work horse to run for focused types of efforts.


I use ZoomNotes on macOS primarily as a viewer. Even that doesn’t seem to work well. Notably folders doesn’t get synced and handoff almost always create a sync conflict.

I wasn’t looking for a “drawing app” per se (Affinity Designer is much better for drawing). But more for unconstrained mind-mapping and searchable scribbles.

I’ve just installed Concepts on iPad and iPhone. Apparently drawing doesn’t sync, does it? Even the “free account” doesn’t mention syncing drawings?

:100: agree on this. App has potential but terrible and ugly UI. They need to hire a designer. Expected paid version to be better but still gives me a headache using it.

Concepts looks SO much better though it’s more of a drawing app than note taking.

Concepts does not do syncing yet. It has been on their roadmap for a while, and there have been release notes mentioning work done in the background to prepare the app for syncing.