Android Apps

Epistle brings plain text, Dropbox syncing goodness to Android [Android App Reviews]

April 18, 2011 | by Chris Smith

Free apps, Productivity


With so many note-taking applications in the Android Market, it has to be pretty difficult to stand out at all. Most new note-taking apps take the high road of trying to pack a ton of features into the app (think Extensive Notes) while others try to create a new note syncing service to support their application. One of the newer Android note-taking apps, Epistle, chooses to take two things I love and bases the entire app on them; Dropbox and plain text files.

Epistle is a simple note-taking app that allows the user to create plain text notes and sync them with a folder in their Dropbox account. The app supports searching of text file titles as well as the ability to share the notes with any app on your Android device that will support it. Epistle also allows the user to choose how they want their sync set up (sync on start, sync on open note, or sync on close note), what Dropbox folder to sync with, and the font size and style (style is limited to serif, sans serif, and monospace). That’s about it. Like I said before this is a very simple application and every feature works extremely well in all my testing.

Search is fast, but it would be nice if the list started populating with search choices as you were typing. Instead you must type your search terms and hit the search button. Syncing is fast and on the initial sync of my 200+ text files it only took a matter of 15 seconds. Adding notes is easy too. There is a large ‘plus’ sign in the upper right hand corner that allows you to add a new note where you can give it a title and start typing away. After the note is complete and you hit the back button, Epistle will automatically sync it to your Dropbox if there is a connection or if there isn’t, keep the changes locally until a connection is present.

I can think of two features that would make this simple note-taking tool complete in my mind; Markdown support and word/character count. Other than that I feel that the limited nature of the app is part of its appeal. It allows a settings tinkerer like me to stop tinkering and start note taking. The app is completely simple for a reason and it doesn’t feel that it is limited because of bad design or implementation.

I think some will say that Evernote is still the way to go for full sync and feature support, but there is something liberating about straight text files synced to Dropbox. Yes, you can’t tag or create some new folder taxonomy structure, but if you need to write something on the quick, Epistle is probably better than the rest.

Epistle is free in the Market right now so click the install button to check it out.

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