Epistle Review

Epistle Review

Mar 14, 2012

I am still in search of a fine Android text editor, one that will match up with my preferred choices on iOS. In my hunt, I have found Epistle, a plaintext editor that is barebones but has one key feature: Dropbox synchronization. By setting it up in the preferences, documents typed up in Epistle will sync with a Dropbox folder, and it can be set to either a new folder or a preexisting one.

One of the best features of Epistle is the app’s support for markdown users. In particular, it will show a preview of any markdown in a note, though it will not show while actually typing it up. Other iOS text editors do not support this (the developer of iA Writer has said that iOS just does not have the power to handle it at this time due to the relatively low processing power on phones and tablets), so it is a minor omission. Files can be shared to WordPress, and formatting will remain, so it can serve as a markdown converter of sorts.

This is a very bare bones text editor, though. Literally the only features are simple note typing, Dropbox synchronization, sharing and a fullscreen mode. There’s no word count functionality, no direct markdown-to-HTML conversion, nothing beyond the core features. It functions well, but has key omissions from what I need in a text editor. It also specifically only indexes .txt files, other extensions like .md are not indexed by the app at all.

So, I will continue searching for that perfect Android text editor. I typed all this up on my phone, so I know that it can be that effective first step, a good way to just get words down in a file. Still, exporting to WordPress is a fantastic feature and it is a great step on the way to finding that perfect writing experience on Android.

JotterPad HD Review

JotterPad HD Review

Jan 9, 2012

If there is anything that I like when it comes to reviewing text editors, it’s that they are just plain efficient to review. See, I can both test out this app and write up a review for it simultaneously. I imagine this is how word processor reviewers feel. It’s the Holy Grail of writing jobs! Well, app reviewing is a pretty sweet gig too. The latest on my plate? Text editor JotterPad for Android tablets.

There is a general dearth of good text editors for Android tablets. I have several that I love on iPad, but none that work well enough on the Xoom for me to want to type regularly on it. This is despite having two great thumb typing options available: SwiftKey Tablet X and Thumb Keyboard. Both are better than the iPad’s tiny excuse for a thumb keyboard. It’s just that the text editors are inferior on Android tablets. JotterPad is a plaintext editor with multiple font and display options.

JotterPad allows for text files typed up in the app to be exported to Dropbox or even as PDF files. There’s an intriguing Time Machine function that allows for multiple revisions of a file to be restored. Most importantly, JotterPad does a good job at just being a competent plaintext editor. Having adjustable text size does help to customize the experience; for those who want them text bigger to make it seem like they are writing more…or smaller fonts for those overachievers who want to be pushed to write more on one page. This is designed for the people for whom maximum word limits are more of a hindrance than minimums.

Unfortunately, it lacks the ability to save or load from Dropbox from within the app; yes, using Android’s own tools to download and upload files works, but I prefer apps with the functionality built right in. A word count display while typing would be extremely handy. Autosaving options would be nice, although this is a minor need and saving works well otherwise.

Will JotterPad compel me to abandon typing articles up on my iPad and start doing them on my Xoom instead? Not really. It’s decent, and likely will be my go to app on the device for when I wish to type on it.