January 20, 2012 | by Jamie Maltman
Evaluated version: 0.3.1
Pros: Clean Interface, Responsive, Attractive, Time Machine
Cons: No Spellcheck (yet)
Do you do a lot of writing on your Android tablet? Have you been looking for the perfect app to help you focus on the most important part – the writing? Whether you’re a blogger, journalist, working on your next book, participating in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), or you just prefer to write a draft before sharing in social media or other web-based apps, Jotterpad HD could be the answer you’re looking for.
I’ve been a fan of minimalist interfaces when I sit down to write on any device, and while there’s a number of great desktop options, I hadn’t found the right fit for Android. Most either have too many functions and create distraction, cater to developers and try to mimic a very basic text editor, or have all the design elegance of a post-it note. While I’m a big fan of apps like Evernote for short messages and storing information, and there are lots of great apps or browser-based possibilities for connecting to your writing’s social media or online destination, I often find them all a bit laggy when I’m writing something longer like a novel chapter or feature article.
Well I’ve finally found my solution in Jotterpad HD from 2nd Class Citizen and I’m using it to write this post right now. Available for tablets running Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, it also supports all types of physical or bluetooth keyboards, in English and Chinese.
Open it up and you’re given a list of your past documents with icons to create a new document, edit a past one, share, or more options. If you click on a document from the list, it shows the creation date, last update date and time, number of time machine backups, and word count for the document. If you have a personal word target for your daily writing, or your editor has a requirement, you know just how important this little feature can be.
Create a new document and you’re faced with a clean white screen, space for a title, an attractive font and a very simple top ribbon with icons for save and back, and the paid version adds undo/redo/day-night mode. There’s room for a title centered on the first line. Want more options? There are a few in the more options icon, allowing you to Find within the document or display/hide a bottom ribbon with icons to increase or decrease the font size, change to one of the other 3 fonts (2 classic serif fonts and one arial-esque sans serif), or change the text alignment for the page. That’s it. And really, when you sit down to write, that’s all you need.
One thing that makes it so powerful is how it uses standard Android sharing, but with a twist. The title automatically becomes the title in another application (like WordPress or Evernote) , or the subject in an e-mail. That means you can use Jotterpad as your main writing pad for all sorts of writing, and with its clean interface and fast response time, you can be more efficient and focused. Since it is plain text, you don’t have to worry about correcting strange formatting when you use this as a first draft for your blog.
The Time Machine is a fantastic function and very smoothly implemented. Every time you open a document and save again, it creates a new Time Machine backup. Available under More Options, if you open the Time Machine it will show you side by side your current version and the previous version for you to check for differences. You can choose an even earlier version as well.
Also under More Options you can create a duplicate of a current document, export to TXT or PDF, or change the Settings. They’ve done a great job with the PDF export, where you can choose the font color and style, background color, alignment, file name (defaults to the title) and see a preview of how it looks before you complete the export. The Settings menu lets you customize your interface a bit by changing your ribbon style and day/night mode (paid version only), or you can backup your entire database.
No, this is not a full-featured replacement for your desktop Word Processor, nor is it trying to be. But when you need to write, this has the killer combination of only exactly what you need, and looks great doing it. Download it now from the Market to try it out and get writing! You’ll be paying for the full version soon!