Apple Macintosh News and Information
Apple Macintosh News and Information

Getting It “Write” on the iPhone and iPodTouch: New App, Better Letters “Personal Handwriting Trainer

Deep Pocket Series, a firm best known for its medical software, now offers an iPhone/iPodTouch application to cure bad handwriting.

That app, Better Letters, launched on November 10, 2009 — eight days later, it featured in the December 2009 issue of GQ magazine (page 128: sidebar in lower right corner on cyber-age resources for handwriting improvement).

Better Letters is the brainchild of two people who care about the proliferation of bad handwriting in our high-tech times: Deep Pocket Series founder Harvey Castro, MD (an emergency medicine physician) and Kate Gladstone, a handwriting improvement specialist known internationally as the “Handwriting Repairwoman.” For $2.99, Better Letters provides instructional lectures (both audio and written) along with practice fonts which offer a choice of writing style, guidelines, and directional arrows — turning the iPhone or iPodTouch into a personal handwriting trainer.

Unlike other handwriting apps, BetterLetters takes users beyond mere copying of onscreen worksheets. Over and above providing sample letters and numerals to trace and copy, the BetterLetters application also includes features such as user-selectable “ink” color, a list of 299 suggested practice words (chosen to include every letter combination in the English language), onscreen instructional essays and audio composed and recorded by handwriting specialist Gladstone, a built-in sketchpad for independent practice and application of handwriting skills, and several screenfuls of active links to handwriting instruction web-sites selected by Gladstone to provide further resources for the study and practice of rapid, readable handwriting.

Why think about handwriting in the computer age?

• Even in the most highly computerized workplaces, computer networks crash or electric power fails. Even when computers and power sources function, physicians and other professionals must often must scribble quick notes, or perform other handwriting tasks. For example, a physician in a computerized hospital will often still need to give ward clerks the day’s handwritten records to read and process.

• Children, teens, and young adults face high-stakes exams, whose written sections increasingly include timed handwritten essays. (Since 2003, the SAT exam given to USA high school students has included a timed handwritten essay which provides about 1/6 of the total SAT score. When schools neglect handwriting instruction or use counterproductive instructional methods, BetterLetters allows students to gain and maintain competent handwriting.)

• Parents and teachers – at every level from kindergarten through graduate school — often need to improve the legibility and speed of their own handwriting in order to teach more effectively. (A teacher’s handwriting, if it lacks precision and speed, can derail even the best-planned lesson or demonstration at the board.)

Extra links:
Information on Better Letters —

Download page and screenshots for Better Letters —

Further screenshots:

Corporate summary:
Deep Pocket Series provides medical software, including applications for the iPhone and iPodTouch. Its newest offering, titled Better Letters and featured in GQ Magazine shortly after release, provides handwriting instruction and remediation for MDs and others.

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