Flexcil 2 Note & PDF Reader

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
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About Flexcil 2 Note & PDF Reader

Flexcil is for reading electronic documents, journaling, making notes, and editing PDFs. It uses gestures to keep the user's concentration on the text or lesson rather than struggling with icons and menus.

Kids of any age who need to complete the tasks supported by Flexcil can use the app. Typically this would be kids aged 13+. Flexcil is available on iOS and Android as a free download with a fifteen-day trial. A single in-app purchase fully unlocks the app.

Flexcil 2 Note & PDF Reader Review

What is Flexcil app?

Flexcil is an app for reading documents as well as annotating and making notes on them. It has a simple set of tools that cover pretty much all a student might want for this purpose. Text can be highlighted, copied, pasted and even looked up in a built-in dictionary. Notes can be handwritten or entered into text boxes on a document's original pages or compiled in separate notebook-style pages alongside elements copied from the original.

The app's features are accessed via an innovative set of gestures to make annotation as quick in the app as is it is on a physical page.

This review of Flexcil app was carried out on an iPad and an iPhone. The app's features were tested both with and without a first-generation Apple Pencil when using the iPad. The app supports similar devices on Android as well as later generations of the Apple Pencil on iOS.

What we love about Flexcil

Its developers have put a lot of thought into the design of Flexcil. It is compatible with services that complement its use, such as popular cloud storage services, different document formats, and the recently popular video-conferencing apps.

Highlighting text in documents is especially intuitive and easy in this app and shows how gestures might speed up the annotation process:

• Select a section of text with a bracket gesture. Essentially draw a tall bracket that starts on the first line and ends on the last.

• A set of highlighting options appears, including colour and formatting changes to highlight the text. Tap the one you want.

• That's it.

If you want to clear the formatting, a scribble through the same text removes it effortlessly.

Within the options section of Flexcil, there is a section called Lab Features. In here are optional features that the user can toggle. They are an advanced look at what the developers are planning to implement next.

Aside from the functionality added by the Lab, it is the forward-looking promise that is so good. They indicate that the app that you have purchased is planned to grow and improve over time. Those who buy the app can expect to see new features and have those that might not work so well now enhanced later.

What skills does it improve?

Flexcil is a notetaking and annotation tool, and as such, it does not directly teach any new skills. However, kids who use the app will have started to find a way to prepare an existing text for their own learning needs.

What age is it appropriate for?

There is nothing in Flexcil that means that young kids should not use it, but the type of work it is designed for is not typically one that young kids will do. Kids who can get to grips with productivity software's tools and who are working with texts complex enough for notes and annotations to be necessary will be able to make use of Flexcil.

Is Flexcil easy to use?

Flexcil doesn't always follow typical interaction types. It uses a gesture system that its developers have created to allow it to take full advantage of the technology it leverages.

The gesture system is well implemented but does take some time to become instinctive. There is a valuable guide on the app's supporting website and some in-app tutorials imminent. It would be great if some of these were in video format, as that would really help speed up the familiarisation process.

How will students benefit?

Notes have always been easier to make on paper than on laptops and other screens. On the other hand, paper-based documents are bulky, inconvenient, and can only be annotated so much. Flexcil brings the best of both worlds.

Students are freed from the inconvenience of physical media while still having an easy way to annotate papers. As a bonus, they can move and duplicate the text and images into custom pages that suit their needs better.

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers know that kids learn best if they take information, reconfigure it, and repurpose it to match their thinking. Encouraging kids to begin using Flexcil will provide teachers with another way of checking that students have understood the information correctly and made logical links.

How will parents benefit?

Flexcil concentrates on one specific task. Other apps might have some or all of the features of Flexcil but be more expensive because they do other things too. If students need those features, that's fine, but most do not. As it is parents who often foot the bill for educational materials, they'll appreciate the excellent value that Flexcil provides.

What can Flexcil improve on?

A tiny section appears on the sidebar in the document selection mode that advertises one of the developers' other products. While links to a developer's other apps do not necessarily worsen an app, it is preferable for them to be in a discrete section where they won't distract or take up screen space.

Occasionally, you'll notice a difference between what you expect and what happens in the app. For example, it took a while to realise that an existing text box could not be selected by tapping with the Apple Pencil as it does in other apps. Instead, it must be picked using an area select marquee or held with a long press.

This could be overcome by making more of the right sidebar, which can list all of the annotations on the page. Tapping them there flashes the corresponding textbox but does not select it. If it did so or allowed the text to be edited within the sidebar, it would feel much more like other apps' methods. Finally, the app's gesture system could really use a video-based reference guide. Watching the app's promotional video on the developer's website reveals features that you might not discover through general experimentation.

How much does Flexcil cost?

There is a free trial of Flexcil that includes all of the standard version's functions for thirty days. What is included with the free version vs. paid? After thirty days, you must make an in-app purchase to unlock the app. Note that this is not a subscription, which makes Flexcil good value and avoids it being a slow drain on students' resources (or their parents').

Is Flexcil safe to use?

The only content that Flexcil includes is some test documents that are convenient to use for practice. It has a privacy policy linked externally. The documents being edited in the app do not appear to be stored in any place other than where the user indicates.

Overall rating of the app.

This app was almost a four-star app rather than the five it has finally earned. It had some great ideas and features, but not all seemed to work. And then, it clicked. The app's gesture-based usage definitely takes some getting used to — they did work — just not in an expected way. The gestures are quick and mostly logical but not all familiar. It will help your first encounter with Flexcil if you're are prepared for the app's use not to feel natural immediately. Also, for some people, switching between the somewhat non-standard gestures of this app and the more familiar and, perhaps less speedy, mechanics of others might require a degree of mental flexibility. Make sure you entirely use the app's free trial period before dismissing or buying this app. Nevertheless, if you judge this app on its aims to be an efficient, clear, and useful notetaking and annotation app, it meets its purposes well. That is why it has earned five stars, even if it did take a while to click.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Organisational and Productivity Skills
Time and Task Management


In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No


Flexcil Inc.

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Screenshots for Flexcil 2 Note & PDF Reader

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