Android News

Dolphin, meet Evernote and Skitch for Web Clipping and Image Annotation

January 26, 2012 | by Jamie Maltman

Android Apps, Productivity

Dolphin

I’m not the only one here at Androinica who loves Evernote, and I use it many times every day, as well as my trusty Dolphin browser. Well this week these two good friends have started working together on Android in a big way, through two new add-ons, and Evernote rounded things out with a new version that adds some very handy new features as well.

If you’re still not familiar with Evernote, I strongly recommend you head over to the Market and give it a try. I’ve used it to organize my thoughts, writing, receipts, warranties, loyalty cards, grocery lists, travel plans, gift ideas, goals, ideas, and just about anything. I love being able to access searchable notes from my Android phone, tablet, Windows desktop, laptop, and even a browser in a pinch.

Up until now, the desktop version had a few features that were sorely missed on Android, but no longer!

The Evernote Add-On for Dolphin lets you do web clipping similar to the desktop Chrome browser extension. This is functionality that I had actively been trying to find ever since I first started using Evernote, and now we finally have it.

Download the Add-On, authorize your account, and you’re ready to start clipping any text you want to remember. Select text on a website and click the Evernote icon to send it directly to a new note, and you get to edit the title (default is the webpage title), choose the Notebook, and add Tags as well. I love that feature while I’m doing research, grabbing a recipe or part of an interesting blog post, or picking up book titles or model numbers for future reference. In fact, it helped me write this post.

Quick tip: make sure you select the text you want first, then press the button, otherwise you’ll end up with just the title and an empty note.

It is a nice and usable start, but far from perfect and can (and likely will with Dolphin being very responsive to user feedback) get even better as we go along. I’d like to see an option to automatically added the source link to the bottom of the note, and quite a number of users are complaining that the Evernote icon replaced the Dolphin Home button in the browser. The latter didn’t bother me, since I never really use the home button, but I’d far rather have the web clipper accessible from the main screen rather than have to go to the add-ons by sliding to the right side Dolphin drawer. It would definitely make sense to give users that option up front. Note that it does a good job clipping the formatted text, but it doesn’t grab images like the Chrome extension. That would be a nice future addition too.

Download it now in the Market, and get clipping!

Skitch for Dolphin extends all the great capabilities for image annotation right into your browser as well. Click on the Skitch icon in the drawer and the screenshot goes right into Skitch and you can annotate away. Its perfectly implemented and very smooth – great job Dolphin! This is one area where we’re now ahead of the Windows version, since Skitch is still Mac and mobile only.

Available now in the Market.

Not to be outdone by Dolphin, the new update to version 3.5 of Evernote for Android adds the usual bug fixes and reliability improvements, but a few little changes that make the overall experience better.

  • Auto Titles auto generates a title for a note that you create via snapshot or voice memo if you don’t give it a name. I’ve had notes that I made and then had trouble finding before when they stayed nameless, but now the name will be based on the type of note and the date/time.
  • Improved image spacing in notes by using a bit of padding around the border to make it look better, especially with multiple images in a note. You can tap and zoom to fullscreen for an image, or even better long press and open it in Skitch to annotate.
  • You can now Save anytime, without having to exit the note. A basic feature and one you would have thought was in there earlier. The desktop version autosaves frequently, and while working on mobile you might like to be able to do those saves without breaking your flow.

It’s not very often that three great applications I use daily get together to get even better, but this is one of those rare and special times. Great job by everyone involved.

How are you going to use these great new Add-ons, and what’s your favorite way to use Evernote?