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Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Testing wptogo

Trying to blog from my phone using wptogo. Seems convenient.

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As promised in the previous post, here’s a review of popular note taking apps for Android.

What’s the point of having a smart phone if you can’t jot down the priceless quote some one made, in the office meeting, for water cooler talk later, or perhaps a compilation of quotes for your blog.

With the number of choices available in the Android market, choosing the perfect note taking app for your Android phone has become a non trivial pursuit.

I have compiled a table of features for the popular notepad apps from the Android market, I have put the features that I thought would be useful.

I only tested the free apps, some of the following apps have paid versions which include more features.

Voice Paint Pic Labels Sync Links Backup Tags Alert SendTo Folder
3Banana No No Yes Yes Yes Yes SDCard No No No No
AK Notepad No No No Yes No Yes SDCard No Yes Yes No
ColorNote No No No No No No No Color No No No
Evernote Yes No Yes No Yes No Online Yes No Email No
Foxnote No No No No No No SDCard No No Email Yes
GDocs No No No No Google Yes Online No No No Yes
Note Everything Yes Yes No No No No SDCard No No Yes Yes
Note Me No No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Notepad No No No No Yes No Online No No No No
Paint Note No Yes No No No No SDCard No No Yes No
Ultra Notes No No No No No No SDCard No Yes Yes Yes
Wiki notes No No No No No Wiki SDCard No No No No
Status note No No No No No No No No No No No
OI Notebook Yes No No No No Yes SDCard Yes No Yes No

Some applications have some other features worth mentioning that are not in the table. Here are some that I found note worthy

3Banana:

It has a good web interface. The web interface can be used while taking notes on the comp and it syncs with the phone app. It can read and store barcode data. User’s don’t need to create an account they can sign-in using their Google account. 3 Banana also supports location tagging this way your note will automatically contain context information.

AK Notepad:

AK Notepad comes bundled as an uninstallable applications in some of the custom Android ROMs. It is a pretty decent option if all you want to do is take text notes.

ColorNote:

The main USP of this application is that the notes can be color coded and sorted based on the color. Other than that this is a simple app for taking text notes.

Evernote:

Evernote is perhaps the best known name in this list. They don’t have a release version out for Android yet, so I tested the beta version that can be downloaded from their site. Evernote  definitely has best online presence amongst the listed apps. Their desktop app is too good to ignore. If you are a Windows or a Mac user then this is definitely worth a very serious look. Me, I am waiting for them to release a Linux version.

Foxnote:

This application is supposed to sync with Google Docs but I was unable to get it to work.

GDocs:

GDocs integrates pretty well with Google docs. It allows the user to download their documents from Google Docs and edit them. The editing can be done offline. Documents can be created offline and  can later be synced. If you use Google Docs then you should definitely give this application a try.

Note Everything:

This is a feature rich note taking application. Most of the features for which it says “no” in the table are available in the Pro version which has Photo notes, checklists, encryption, reminder etc. I did not try the Pro version.

Note Me:

Note Me has a slightly busy looking interface with lots icons at the bottom of the screen. It has filtering by tags and a send to calendar feature which is similar to the remainder feature that some other apps have.

Notepad:

This is plain vanilla  note taking app, it provides syncing through its own servers at http://pad.helicoid.net

Paint Note:

This is not a normal note taking application. This is meant for taking picture notes. You can open any picture from your album or SD Card, add notes to it and share it using one of the many photo sharing sites. You can also create your own drawings and share them in the same way.

Ultra Notes:

This is another feature rich application. It is one of the few application that support encryption. The home screen, by default, contains a list of folders which can be used to categorise the notes.

Wiki notes:

This is useful for creating wikis, all wiki words (text with more than one capital letter) become links to notes of that title.

Status note:

This is another app which is not a simple note taking app. This puts an editable note in the status bar.

OI Notebook:

Open Intents (OI) have a pretty large suite of apps for Android platform. Their note taking app, OI Notebook, is a pretty decent application. The USP of OI Notebook is that it integrates well with other OI products like OI Voice Notes, OI Safe, providing additional functionality.

Update: Evernote is out of beta now. I use evernote and ultranotes on my phone.

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After considering it for a long time, I finally gave in and went to the store to get an HTC Hero. As it turned out, the price difference between the HTC Magic and HTC Hero is pretty significant. Considering that both have almost the same hardware specs (apart from the camera), I decided to buy myself an HTC Magic instead.

What is not mentioned anywhere is the fact that the Indian version of HTC Magic is one of the few models which is completely locked, not to the carrier, but software installation wise. The phone contains the carrier unlock code right on the box. I have been using my old Vodafone number since the purchase.

Now my whole purpose of buying a smart phone was using the Google services, customising the phone no end and installing and experimenting with lots of software. The phone was a major disappointment. It did not have the Google app suite, it did not have Android market, it had no option of installing any software. How Airtel can advertise GPS as one of the phone’s features without any map application is beyond me. Needless to say I was pretty upset and desperate.

I looked around the web for ways to rectify this. I went through many blog and forum posts about rooting the phone and decided to try it. Then came the second surprise, this version of the Magic contained what is called a perfected SPL, which means rooting was not going to be that simple.

Then I found the Unlokr‘s guide to Root the HTC Magic in one click , this worked perfectly. After that I tried 4 different ROMs from the xda developers, which are basically customised versions of the OS, they were all quite good but I finally settled for the MyHero ROM, this  contained the HTC sense UI, which I liked. Welcome Android 😀

After getting a brand new and completely unlocked OS, I downloaded the Android Market Enabler, this allowed me to access the other versions of the market. After about a month, I am still checking out a good number of apps everyday. Stay tuned for app reviews.

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