Write: Tablet Notepad/Journal Review

Write: Tablet Notepad/Journal Review

Nov 19, 2012

Man, why must all the creative types use Apple products?

That’s the only explanation for as to why I am constantly unable to find a good simple text editor for Android. All the geeks that don’t care about style are on here. All the developers who want to make stylish text editors that are basic but feature just enough advanced features to stay out of my way when I don’t need them make them for iOS and Mac.

I hoped Write would be the answer for typing up work on my Nexus 7: it’s Dropbox-enabled, has a nice look to it, and doesn’t have too many extra features that I frankly don’t need. And for what it’s worth, it’s a perfectly fine app. There’s plenty of people that will use it and love it for what they need it for.

Me, I’m picky, and what gets me annoyed about Write keeps me from loving it the way I do Byword on iOS and Mac.

The problem with Write on the 7“ tablet size is that the app is not really designed for that higher DPI as compared to a tablet at the same resolution. Elements are just too big to be look good – it looks very squished. Thankfully displayed text while editing can be made smaller. That makes it just look a lot better, and display more text on screen at once. Still, this app is much better on a 10” tablet instead.

The other issue with Write comes in with the fact that typing in landcape on Android 4.x kinda stinks because of that action bar on the bottom. I think I’m hitting the space bar, and boom, I am at the home screen, or have pulled up multitasking. It’s just challenging. Typing on a touchscreen is still somewhat inefficient, but at least iOS makes it as easy as possible. This is an app best used with a Bluetooth keyboard.

Finally, the app does have Dropbox synchronization, but it only syncs to one folder on Dropbox (/Apps/Write) so syncing up with other text files requires moving then to that folder. This automatic synchronization doesn’t appear to be long for the app either, as the Dropbox setup page in the app mentions that the functionality is “superfluous” and may be removed, as files can just be exported via Dropbox’s Android sharing. Yet, this comes with the drawback of not syncing automatically. I like my writing apps to work where I can type an article or note up from wherever, and then edit it from wherever. Not having automatic syncing would just be more difficult, as I would have to worry about actually sendong the file when finished. Trust me, I would forget.

Now, I will say that if I just have my Nexus 7 with me, this will be my go-to app. But because there’s not a great writing app, because Wrote falls short, I won’t find myself in that situation. Sigh.

Write: Tablet Notepad/Journal Review Rundown

User Interface - The typing interface works well enough, but the menu is clearly built for bigger screens.
Usefulness - This is best as a simple text editor, and really not more. That has value in and of itself, though – as a way to get text down, it's perfectly functional.
Performance - Smooth, simple, minus any interface ugliness in the 7" form factor, it works very well.
Value - That being said, there are plenty of apps that work just for putting text down, and support manual Dropbox sharing.
Overall - I could have loved it, if it were just a little bit more.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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