Hands-on with Livescribe's new Android support

While Livescribe might not have a shiny new gadget to show off at CES 2015, it still has some very big news to share. Finally the company has turned its eyes to one of the most populous user bases in the mobile industry, announcing the upcoming release of the Android version of its Livescribe+ app. Starting spring, Livescribe users will no longer feel chained to only one mobile platform, freely switching between their iOS or Android device of choice, if they're actually making that choice.

Livescribe popularized, if not pioneered, the "pen recorder" line of gadgets that blend physical and digital note-taking together. The idea is pretty simple: what you write on paper gets mirrored on a mobile app. Of course, theory is everything and execution is key, and Livescribe's years in business is testament to how good its execution is. The only problem, at least for Android users, is that Livescribe only worked with Apple's devices. Well not anymore.

Livescribe describes the Android port of the Livescribe+ app as more than just a port of the iOS version. It is a total adoption of the Android platform, quirks and all. So you won't have to worry about an app that looks out of place on your smartphone or tablet. And you won't have to worry about missing out on key Livescribe features, as the Android app will feature those as well, including searching handwriting, converting handwritten scribbles to digital text, and recording and playback of audio.

The new app will work with Livescribe 3, the current gen pen that is on demo at the CES 2015 showroom floor. Compared to a full pen, the Livescribe version is lighter to the touch but the clickable cap makes it feel more traditional. Only two color options of black and chrome are available, which doesn't leave much room for letting your personality shine through. Perhaps more color options can be designed for the future, but for now, Android users will probably be content to get even the basics at last. The Livescribe+ app will launch sometime in Spring 2015 on select Android smartphones and tablets. Livescribe isn't saying which select few exactly, but the most basic requirement is that those devices support Bluetooth 4.0 and its LE (Low Energy) profile.