Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Two Free Handy Android Notepad Apps

One thing that’s oddly missing from Android by default is a Notes application. Be honest: How many times have you sent yourself an email (or at least saved a quick Gmail draft) just because you had nowhere to jot down a quick note? Well, I hope to remedy that today, with either of these two free and simple Android notepad apps.


Easypad is an incredibly simple notepad app. Its main selling point is its cute widget, which looks something like this:

You can control the widget size:

Although the 1×1 widget is so tiny that it fits just two words; in fact, it fits the words “so tiny” perfectly, so if one of your words is something like “discombobulating”, you’re going to have to go with the 2×1 widget at least.

In terms of actual writing, Easypad isn’t overwhelmingly complicated (to say the least). Here’s what a note looks like when you’re writing it:

You can also select one of several backgrounds, that carry over to the widget:
The “crumpled paper” look (bottom-left) is so crumpled that its difficult to actually read whatever it is you’re trying to write. The other paper backgrounds are cute, and don’t interfere with the text.

That’s pretty much all you’re going to get with Easypad, really. If you’re just looking for a quick notepad which lets you see your notes right from the homescreen, you just found it. But if that’s a bit too simple for you, you might want to talk a look at the next app, called…

AK Notepad

AK Notepad supports note reminders, themes, tags, sorting, searching, and lots more. Of course, it also has its own widget:
Now let’s look at the interface:
That’s the default writing interface. I’m not a big fan of the lines, so let’s see if we can change that.

Indeed, the settings menu lets you switch themes, and thankfully, also disable the horizontal lines. After a bit of tweaking, I got the note to look like this:

Much, much better. Now, those hash tags you see at the end of the note bring me to the next AK Notes feature I like, which is simple note labeling. After adding those two hash tags to my note, I can see them in the Labels list:

And you can tap any one of them to see at a glance all of my notes about awesome things, or bears.

AK Notepad also offers notes sync with, a service we looked at when covering Catch Notes for iOS (by the same company). It does require opening an account, and doesn’t support my favorite note-sync service, Simplenote. Another handy AK Notepad feature is passcode protection, but it only applies to launching the entire app: You can’t protect just specific notes. Also, your passcode may only consist of four digits:
You may not use letters, and can’t select anything longer than four digits. A bit of an odd restriction, but there it is.

Final Thoughts

Both of these apps keep things simple, and do what it says on the tin. They don’t burst with features (although AK Notepad does have a few tricks under its hat), but that’s the whole point really. If you’re looking for a simple, quick, and free Android notepad apps, one of these two will surely get the job done.

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