Notely - Dropbox Text Editor ($3.99) by Magoaten is a full-featured Dropbox text editor for your iPhone and iPad.
This app market certainly is getting crowded these days, isn’t it? It feels like there’s always a new “Dropbox text editor” app for your iPhone or iPad every week. However, Notely is not “just another Dropbox text editor” – there are plenty of features to like in this one.
When you first launch Notely, you’ll find a Thank You text document in there. This will introduce you to the basics of using Notely. No matter if you’re actually viewing the note or on the note listing, there is always a button on the bottom menu bar that allows you to access the settings for Notely.
Before you start writing away in Notely, I’d advise you to check out the settings first, and configure the app the way you’d like it to be, as well as set up Dropbox. Once you link your Dropbox, you are able to choose which sync path the app will take. However, before you can choose this, the app will automatically create a “Notely” folder in your Dropbox. If you change the sync path, the files already in “Notely” will be copied over to your selected path, thus duplicating the files. Hopefully the developer can amend this in the future.
After you get the Dropbox set up, then you can tinker with the appearance of Notely. If you don’t like being bound to one or two color themes for your writing, you’ll be pleased to know that Notely allows users to pick from a wide color palette for both text and background. You’ll have the Standard colors, and then five more palettes of colors that just go well together. Choices include: Rain, Flavors, Coffee, Summer Twilight, and Pink Brigade. Users can also choose from dozens of various fonts, and adjust the size (from size 10 to 46).
Other settings include toggles for Spell Check, TextExpander, Extended Keyboard, and whether swipes left and right will move the cursor between words or letters. File and Folder naming options will allow you to have auto word capitalization or show extensions. Dropbox Sync allows you to also check off which file types to sync (.csv, .htm, .html, .markdown, .md, .php, .rtf, .txt. and .xml).
Now that we have settings taken care of, it’s time to write. Whichever folder you have chosen for the sync path, it will be the main screen. You can refresh, change the sorting of notes (name, date, size, type), and add a new file or folder. Notely supports infinite nested folders, so if that’s how you organize files, then go on ahead – a “Home” button will show up for you to easily get back to the main file listing. Files and folders can be deleted or moved in batches or individually.
To create a new file, you’ll first have to name it. After that, just start typing away – the app will automatically go into a full screen mode for distraction-free writing. You will notice (if you left it on) the extended keyboard right away, since it sits on top of the keyboard. There will be buttons to help you move between words or letters (as well as the customized swipe preference in settings), and four customizable shortcut buttons. To set these buttons to whatever you need, just tap and hold on them – pretty simple. Another button will hide the keyboard and exit full screen mode, also triggering a sync. As I continued to write in Notely, I saw very frequent updates from Dropbox on my MacBook Pro (I’m talking every 20 seconds or so). So I’m pretty certain the app is constantly saving your work in the background so you don’t have to. Your work will never be lost with such frequent syncing, including in the background if you go into another app.
If you are a Markdown user, you’ll be happy to know that Notely does support Markdown syntax in your note. For those who are OCD about it and need to make sure that everything looks the way it should, there is a Markdown Preview option available. This way, you can constantly check to see if your text looks okay.
If you’re like me and use OmniFocus for iOS, there’s a bonus feature in Notely that should please you. A note can be sent as an action OmniFocus for iPhone or iPad – the title of the note is the task, and the text serves as the note for the task. Pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.
Tapping on the “i” button while viewing a note will bring up information about the current document. Information includes: word and character count, line count, and file size.
Those that are running iOS 4.2+ should be able to print notes via AirPrint. Files from the app can also be emailed either inline or as attachments. Notely is a universal app for your iPhone and iPad and supports both portrait and landscape mode.
As a universal app for $3.99, I believe that Notely is one of the best Dropbox text editors you can buy for your iPhone or iPad. There are definitely a lot of features and customization that should benefit anyone needing to write on-the-go.
The only real qualm I have is the file duplication and choosing the sync path option I mentioned earlier. The design of the app certainly doesn’t match that of Elements, another of my favorite text editors, but the feature set makes up for it. If these can be improved, then Notely would be close-to-perfect (there’s always room for improvement).
If you’re in search of a Dropbox text editor, definitely give Notely a try. There are plenty of options to make this app work for you – not the other way around.