April 17, 2011
Moleskine, the folks behind the popular line of notebooks, diaries and sketchbooks by the same name, quietly dropped a universal app into the App Store. It combines the old school simplicity of a notebook with technological advances you’ve come to expect from an iDevice. These include geo-tagging, image adding, and the sharing of notes through email or social networking. Once installed, the app’s home page looks remarkably like an everyday Moleskine product, right down to its virtual leather jacket. This can easily be customized to include your own text or color preferences, or unique photo from your iDevice's camera roll. A swipe of a finger reveals the first of your notes pages. It is here where links to each of your notes, or “myThoughts” reside. Each of these may be organized by category and location, depending on your preference. Each note contains two promiment features visualized by a clipboard and pen icon. The clipboard, which is located at the top of your notes page, lets you name/rename your current thought, adjust the note’s category, or change its paper style. In addition, it is here you can share notes either through Facebook, Twitter, or email. Finally, with the clipboard, you may geo-tag a note, to remember where you were when the note was written. The pen icon, which is shown at the lower right of each note, has three purposes. Here you can initiate the adding of images, the modification of text, and the ability to sketch within the notebook. Overall, I found the Moleskine app to be both stylish and simple. However, it isn’t without its faults. For one, just like with real notebooks, there is no way to sync information between the iPhone and iPad app. In addition, there is no way to export notes to Dropbox or a similar service. Plus, images and sketches are not included when you share a note via email; same goes for sharing on Facebook or Twitter. Still, this is an impressive first version of an app that will probably turn a lot of heads. Best of all, the Moleskine universal app is available in the App Store for free.