PlainText Released for iOS: A Killer Note-taking App?

By Rahul Dowlath | Apple

There is an application for the Mac called WriteRoom. I’ve used this app occasionally, more to try it out than actually write something meaningful in it. Basically, the idea behind an app like this is to provide a distraction-free writing environment so that one can focus entirely on the text, and not worry about time-wasting (and space-wasting) things like toolbars.

But while WriteRoom isn’t part of my writing toolkit, it’s still a great app; writers must choose the software that suits them best.

And recently, the developers of WriteRoom have announced the release to the App Store of PlainText — Dropbox text editing for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. It’s an enhancement to having to use the very Spartan Notes.app (the default note-taking app on iOS).

PlainText has a very simple feature set, following the philosophy of its Mac brethren in distraction-free writing. There are three significant features to know of:

  • Paper-like, distraction-free writing space that allows you to focus on the text you’re writing.
  • Folders: organise your notes in a systematic way with folders. This is a feature that Apple’s Notes.app lacks…
  • DropBox syncing means your notes are always accessible.

The DropBox syncing is particularly interesting, as it will tie-in well with the upcoming release of popular writing app Scrivener. With v2 of Scrivener, users will be able to sync documents from the app with certain iOS apps that support, for instance, Dropbox.

So is PlainText a Notes.app killer? Well, its features do seem to trump the native app’s. For people wanting a robust, efficient writing environment, this app is certainly worth a try.

According to the developers, Hog Bay Software, PlainText is an “infrastructure” app; basically, it’s providing the code base for better implementations of WriteRoom and TaskPaper (another app by the developer) for iOS devices.

Note taking apps like PlainText are proving that the iPad is a viable option for students attending lectures. Instead of lugging a laptop computer to class, an easier and economical route would be to take notes on the iPad — a slim, stylish and Zen-like computing device. At the same time, students are provided with a distraction-free environment in which to take notes that can easily be transferred to a computer at the end of the day for revision.

PlainText is available at the AppStore. Visit the official page here. (iTunes link)

About the Author

I'm a young writer from South Africa, chronicling the changing tides in the ever-flowing river of technology. Focusing mainly on Apple-related technologies, I enjoy sharing my opinion and giving a few tips and tricks here and there on the latest and greatest from 1 Infinite Loop. I'm an avid blogger, and an even more avid reader.

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digiPIMguys October 21, 2010

Rahul – We’ve tried PlainText too- it’s great! Horrible that there’s no non-Apple access. You might like SimpleNote…but we’re building something that we hope to be “killer” at digiPIM. You should sign up for the beta. Would love your thoughts!

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