The Livescribe Sky smartpen is an extraordinary little device, but it does have its limitations.
Surprisingly, one of the principle objections Livescribe users have is one of the items included in my Features section: integration with Evernote. The older smartpens (Pulse and Echo) synched to an application on the computer. From there users could export pages and audio output to whatever app or file store used to organize notes and information. The newest generation of smartpens (Sky) no longer syncs to an application on the computer. Instead, everything from the pen appears in a dedicated note on the user’s private Evernote account. For users who aren’t interested in using Evenote, this is a serious problem. Currently, the only real solution is to get an Echo smartpen – something that seems like a step backward, although the Echo and the Sky pen are virtually identical in function other than where pen data is accessed.
One other limitation is important for users moving from one pen to a replacement. Existing notes cannot be transferred to a new pen. If you need to replace your smartpen with a new one, you can continue using a notebook you’ve already started by clicking the seal on the notebook cover. Unfortunately, the new pen will not “know” anything about the pages authored using the previous pen. The new pen will only “see” the pages you author in the new pen. Fortunately, your notes are not lost, they are in Evernote.