Looking for fast Notes app with DropBox and rich text capabilities

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by sebastian..., Feb 4, 2012.

  1. sebastian..., Feb 4, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    sebastian... macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    I read a ton of reviews and "Top Ten Notes app" and such. It seems crazy that among of the billions of text editor apps, I couldn't find a simple text app.

    This app should have :
    - light and fast. Similar to the default Apple Notes would be ideal. Even if this means the app won't have tons of features like coffee making and 3d.
    - able to write like this : bold, colored and different sizes in the same page - like in a RTF doc. And maybe different fonts.
    - DropBox support.
    - should export in a format easily editable on a pc. PDF are not so easy editable

    That's it. I can't believe there isn't an app like this. I mean there are apps much more complex than this, or the reverse - super simplistic apps mirroring the default Notes app.

    Bonus optional features would be :
    - Universal for ipad / iphone. Or if it has an ipad only version like Circus Ponies NoteBook, it should at least use / export in a common file format.
    - features like drawing and pictures insert, as long as these features won't compromise the ease of use - like for example other apps start by default with the drawing pen so you need to make extra clicks just to start typing.
    - extra row of numbers on top of the keyboard. Or even better, something unheard of - customizable top row.
  2. epicmar macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2008
    Northern Florida
    Notability seems to have what you are looking for in the way of text formatting (bold, underline, italics, different fonts, different font sizes, and different colors all in the same note), Dropbox suuport, and the ability to email your note file in RTF format. I believe it only has an iPad version.
  3. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hmmm. How about iCloud support instead of Dropbox? Or via email? Consider Pages for iPad. Does all sorts of fonts/styling. Exports in MS Word format, so very easily editable on PC. It will set you back $9.99 though.

    It's what I use for taking notes in the reading rooms of historical archives while using my iPad with Apple keyboard.
  4. sebastian... thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thank you. Notability and Pages seem close to what I want.

    But after I searched some more I found a thread on DropBox forum where a lot of surprised people say the same think : they can't believe there isn't yet a simple RTF editor and note taking app.

    So perhaps that would be best. A note app able to edit RTF files. RTF documents are the only documents I know which can have rich text and are able to be edited native on any platform.

    Pages is beautiful but overkill if you want just rich text editing.

    And most apps seem to have a limited RTF capability.

    For example iNotePad HD - from its description:
    Ability to import RTF files, modify extracted TXT file from RFT file, export to a new RTF file.

    So that means it's not a true RTF editing. You can't just open a RTF document, edit something, SAVE - or auto-SAVE - then the document would be saved to DropBox ready to be opened from another platform.

    Notability is the same ? It would just export to RTF ? It can't modify an existing RTF ?

    I don't understand what's so hard about RTF files ? I think it's a simple enough format. No ?
  5. DCBass macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC

    I would like something like this too. I would only add:

    1. Preferably something that would be universal on the iPhone and iPad.
    2. Search (title AND content)

    However, if you can give up the color and different text sizes, how about the built-in Mail program? Each note can simply be a draft email, and both of my additional requirements would be met too.

    The only reason I don't like that is that it would be way too easy to accidentally email someone some work notes by accident.

    If there is one more thing that I could add, it would be easy bullet-ing for notes. Pages has bullets, but you have to dig too deep... there's not 'tab' key equivalent if you are taking notes.


  6. sebastian... thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thanks for the links. I don't know what Markdown is but I'm guessing it's a file format with similar features to RTF.

    Hmm, or maybe not. After I did some research, I think it is something useful only for html writers. And in most Markdown editors you need to enter special signs and code to change the formating and it's just not intended for regular writing like with the RTF docs.

    If anyone know of a rtf text editor please reply in this thread.
    And I see there isn't an app for everything :)
  7. Vindicator macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2011
    I just test RTF on Notability, it can open and edit RTF "open-in" from Safari or from other apps. Also have a option export note to RTF.
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    1. light and fast? no. but, quite powerful, and if you use third party apps like quickever or fastever xl in conjunction with it, i hear you can get the light and fast aspect.

    2. bold? yes. colored? no. different sizes? no. different fonts? no.

    3. DropBox support? no. but, i consider its system (sync to their servers instead of dropbox) to be quite nice.

    4. export? no problem.

    otherwise, my recommendations would be elements using multimarkdown or apple's own app, pages. in general, whenever possible, i try to stick with simple text. i know this goes against what you want, but if you do this, you gain lots of benefits, including 100% portability.
  9. sebastian... thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thank you Vindicator. It seems Notability is the only rtf and dropbox enabled app. It has a few nice features too. For example auto-sync so you don't have to manually save the documents to dropbox.

    The only possible disadvantage are - lack of iphone app, and it is maybe too "heavy" - meaning slow opening and slow navigating - for those who just want to open the app 10 times a day to add yet another word to the notes.
    But I don't know that, I didn't test it yet, I have to upgrade my ipad first.

    palpatine : evernote is popular so that means it has something good, but for me the formating is important. For example if I have a long long document I can find important paragraphs more easier if I write like this (just an example) :

    I use normal font colors and size for most of the text lines.

    Something important or a headline
    Note : Later I can decide that maybe this paragraph is not so important so I'll make it gray so it's not so visible.
    For the most important part of the text I can use a different color so if I'm in a hurry I can skip right to this
    And then I can continue with the normal text bla ba bla and so on and so on
    Warning : And of course I can use red for things like : DO not do this and that and always don't forget to comment out your notes etc
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    hi sebastian. you'll get no argument from me about the the benefits of formatting. speaking as someone who has migrated thousands of notes in and out of several notetaking programs over the years, there are some powerful benefits of plain text, though.

    the benefits of plain text:
    1. 100% portability. Never be locked into a file format again.
    2. 100% quick searchability.
    3. Very easy to modify.
    4. Easy to index for searches.
    5. Takes up very little room (about 1/2 or less of text in a pdf)
    6. Can be opened and edited on any platform.
    7. You can use markup language or LaTex to separate content from formatting.

    some creativity with plain text can accomplish quite a bit. just some suggestions. if notability works for you, then by all means go with it. but, evernote is considerably more powerful in my opinion. and, someday soon i am sure they will be adding more rich text functionality :)

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  11. sebastian... thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Notability is very nice. It's seems we finally have native RTF text support on ipad. And with a very low price. And nice options.

    But it's kinda slow. At least on ipad 1. Probably all those nice options are slowing the app down.

    So I would still like to find that elusive simple RTF dropbox notepad app.
    No drawing, highlighter, pictures, textured background paper... and so on.
  12. DenVog macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2013
    Rich Notes - Notes with style.

    You might want to take a look at Rich Notes. It just released to the App Store today. It does not hit 100% of your feature asks, but most of them. FREE to try.

    It takes best parts of the Apple Notes app (quick entry, intuitive UI, iCloud sync, universal app) and adds the most requested features that Apple never got around to offering. Here are the highlights:

    * Format text - bold, italic, underline
    * Strikethrough, text color, highlight (In-App Purchase)
    * Extended onscreen keyboard to quickly enter punctuation, symbols, and navigate text (iPad)
    * Passcode protect
    * Change font size
    * Use entire landscape screen width for writing
    * Background and font options
    * Sort notes alphabetically or by date

    It's also worth noting (pun intended) what Rich Notes doesn't have:
    * No annoying ads
    * No subscriptions
    * No markup to learn

    Full Disclosure: I'm the developer of Rich Notes.
  13. sebastian..., Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

    sebastian... thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Well that's great. As soon as I read this I tried to install the app but after a few tries and a restart I got the message that it's for the ios 6 only. Damn.

    I have an iphone 4s, but because of lack of time and the fact I have numerous customizations I tend to update rarely, maybe once a year or every two years.

    I wonder how are these sophisticated high-end app from Autodesk able to offer compatibility even with ios 4.0 ?





    I managed to find another app - it's called Essay - but it appears it's no longer on AppStore and maybe only exports as html ?



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