updated 01:46 pm EDT, Fri October 4, 2013
Simplenote reemerges as top iOS note app contender
Simplenote's original claim to fame was its position as one of the first iOS apps to sync notes across multiple devices. However, the introduction of iCloud made this feature easy to implement into any app and Simplenote found itself struggling to stand out in a rapidly expanding App Store. The company tried offering a few paid premium services, but in many respects fell off the radar. Fast forward to September and we see the first major update in a while, but unlike most big updates, Simplenote's didn't add any big new features and instead made a number of cuts. What's left is a lightweight note taking tool that is dead simple to use.
As its name implies, Simplenote is designed to do one thing, allow users to write and store notes in the simplest way possible. Upon opening the app users are prompted to either setup a new account or login with an existing account. A new account will provide users with a few notes detailing the apps various features, while existing users will instantly see a complete list of any notes previously stored in their account.
Let me get one thing straight right away, syncing is incredibly fast. Simplenote doesn't use iCloud and instead opts to use Simperium, a service developed by Simplenote's own creator Mike Johnston which has since been purchased by Automattic. As soon as a user stops typing the syncing feature goes to work and almost instantly pushes any changes made to any other linked devices. Furthermore, Simplenote also saves versions of each document whenever it is synced, giving using the ability to look back through revisions and see what has changed.
Better yet the app is offered at no cost. The update completely stripped the app of all its paid services leaving only the essential tools for creating and organizing notes. It should be noted that any existing premium subscribers will still have access to the Dropbox-syncing feature, but as of right now the company is not accepting any new subscriptions.
Other notable apps this week include iMPC, The Cave, and Tangent
Music lovers should also take note that iMPC, a faithful digital recreation of the classic Akai Pro MPC, was updated this week and is currently on sale for $5. Usually sold for $7, the app features more than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, 80 editable sequences, and various other tools that can be used to create music on any iPad.
Meanwhile, Sega this week released The Cave, a new adventure game from the creator of Monkey Island. Within the game players bring together a team of three adventurers, each with unique personalities and stories, as they travel into a mysterious cave. A total of seven characters are included to choose from, providing users with a number of different ways to experience the game.
Finally, Tangent is a photo editing app that provides users with a toolbox of frames, shapes, patterns, fills and blends. All of these tools are fully customizable, with options for scaling, as well as for adding color and adjusting opacity. The v1.2 update introduces new ND Patterns and Shapes Packs, as well as 12 new styles and landscape support for the iPad.