App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
Whink App Poster Image
Read, write, and draw with solid note-taking tool.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn better note-taking techniques and sharpen their skills for annotating. Kids can also work on getting organized, saving their notes systematically with descriptive names, and grouping their notes into categories so they can easily find -- and review -- what they've captured as they read at home or listen in class. Though having the audio feature included in the sticker price and incorporating a better search would improve its potential, Whink will be a helpful tool for kids who want to take notes digitally.

Ease of Play

It's super easy to take notes and add images, and organizing your notes on the home page is a snap.


Two in-app purchases are available, but there aren't any ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Whink is a note-taking tool for iPad. You can import PDFs to read and annotate, write and type new notes, or highlight and annotate existing ones. The app costs $2.99 to download, and for an additional $2.99 users can purchase two additional features: a shape-drawing tool and an option to record audio. To learn about the types of information collected and shared, read the privacy policy.

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What's it about?

To get started with WHINK, tap the plus sign at left to create a new document and pick a background (your choices are "plain" white, ruled, or a "checked" grid) and a color scheme. Tap "Create" and you'll enter the note-taking space, where you'll see an automatically generated cover sheet for your document. Select Write, Type, or Read to access features for different pens, colors, fonts, highlighters, and other editing features from a menu at the top of the screen. Long-press on the screen to access additional features, such as options to add a digital sticky note, an image, or a searchable tag. Your saved documents appear on the home screen, where you can tap their colorful covers and hold to unlock other features, such as options for exporting documents (such as a Whink file or PDF) and grouping documents into folders.

Is it any good?

Though it has some nice elements and its simple, streamlined interface is low on distractions, Whink is missing some features that other note-taking apps offer for free. The reading mode is especially minimalist, which will help kids stay focused. It's also excellent that you can toggle the writing tools for right-handed or left-handed writers and drag a palm rest on-screen. Though it isn't always intuitive to figure out how things work, shorts taps and long presses unlock more tools for grouping your notes and adding tags and notes. Some features are absent, though. For example, you can't import PDF documents from within the app: Instead, you'll have to use the "Open in" pop-up menu in another app to select Whink, which isn't hard, but it's another step. Two features -- adding audio and drawing shapes -- are only available after an additional $2.99 in-app purchase, but comparable tools such as Notability and Evernote include that feature in the basic download. It's also not entirely clear how to search for tagged documents. Though it's attractive and effective, more features for collaboration, importing, and sharing would make it even better.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using a note-taking app to stay organized. Use the colorful cover pages as a color-coding tool for notes from related classes or for different kinds of documents, such as class notes or study guides.

  • Talk about how you might use the app as an e-reader: Import PDFs and highlight and annotate to your heart's content. Talk about what makes sense to highlight and what kinds of comments you should write in the margins. What's helpful to write down as you read? How will you use those annotations when you revisit the text?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: writing, writing clearly
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, making conclusions, thinking critically
    Self-Direction: academic development, self-reflection, working efficiently
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: October 22, 2015
  • Category: Productivity
  • Size: 17.40 MB
  • Publisher: Rama Krishna
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: December 11, 2020

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