Evernote, makers of the widely popular note-taking and idea management apps for iPhone, iPad, and pretty much every platform you can think of, have bought Penultimate, one of the premiere hand-written note-taking apps on the iPad. Evernote will be keeping Penultimate as a separate app, however, and will be moving to push it out to other platforms as well. Ben Zotto, Penultimate's developer, has written a blog post about the acquisition:

Penultimate has come a long way since its launch as the original dedicated handwriting app for Apple’s first iPad two years ago. It now offers scores of powerful features within that same accessible and attractive design. It’s remained a top-selling app, and millions of people have showed us that they’re doing things with Penultimate we never imagined. I’ve been amazed and humbled by all of the passionate users I’ve encountered— you have offered your valuable feedback, support, and candid (!) critiques. Penultimate would not be what it is without you. I believe that this partnership makes a lot of sense, and Penultimate is only going to get better from here. Not just incrementally better, but WAY better, and quickly. I’m excited about the future of the app, and I sincerely hope that you will be too.

Zotto also notes, interestingly enough, that core members of the Evernote team have been involved in mobile handwriting recognition technology going back to the days of the Apple Newton.

The main Evernote app is currently iMore's favorite way to enter text, record voice, and take photos (and be able to search text in photos) for every day productivity. Evernote has branched out into other, more specific apps as well, including Evernote Food and Evernote Hello. Penultimate added basic Evernote support earlier this year, but that will no doubt increase now that they're a member of the Evernote family.

Here's the full press release.

Mountain View, CA – May 7, 2012 – Evernote, the company that's helping the world remember everything, today announced the acquisition of Penultimate, the most popular digital handwriting application for iPad, and the fourth best-selling iPad app of all time. The acquisition will allow Evernote to expand its handwriting capabilities, while also making Penultimate available on more platforms and devices.

"Digital handwriting has been around for decades, but it has never gone mainstream because the hardware and software simply weren't aligned. Thanks to Penultimate and the iPad, that's all changing," said Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote. "For the first time ever, writing on a tablet is really great, which is why we chose this moment to make the acquisition. We have big plans for Penultimate that will both enhance the app and bring more capabilities into Evernote. It's already the best handwriting app out there, and it's only just getting started."

The Penultimate app is designed to resemble a physical notebook. Individuals can use a finger or stylus to take notes wherever they like. The application allows users to choose from a variety of paper types, ink colors and line thicknesses. Notes taken in Penultimate can be saved directly to Evernote with a single tap.

"Technology often distances us from things that feel natural and human. With Penultimate, our goal was to use the most advanced tools to enable something that was at once powerful and familiar," said Ben Zotto, creator of Penultimate. "I’m thrilled to join the Evernote family. Their vision and expertise will help bring exciting improvements to Penultimate, and together we’ll elevate the importance of handwriting within Evernote."