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Quick Pitch: Synotes wirelessly syncs your notes across the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and web.
Genius Idea: Synotes is a note-taking app available on the web, for the iPhone and for the iPad that lets you take notes and then sync them wirelessly for access and editing from different devices and locations. Think of it as a roaming note pad.
I’m a big note taker. I like to make assorted lists of stuff to remind myself to do, cool things to remind others about, people to remember to call, etc. My iPhone is great for that activity — and Apple devices’ built-in note app, while lacking some features, will let me sync to iTunes to retrieve past notes. However, a far better solution is to have a note-taking app that can exist on my phone, my desktop, my iPad and in the cloud, so notes I take on my phone can be accessible even if I happen to lose said phone in a cab in Miami (true story).
This is where applications such as Synotes come into play. Synotes is available on the web and the App Store for the iPhone and the iPad. As a longtime fan of the similar Simplenote, I was curious to see how Synotes stacks up.
Aesthetically speaking, Synotes is gorgeous. The web app, the iPhone app and the iPad app are all beautifully designed, and the UI is consistent across the applications. This is especially impressive when you consider that Synotes was created by three high school students spread out across Australia.
Performance is also solid, particularly in the web interface and iPhone app. Synotes Slate, the iPad variant, did have some stability issues, but a new version with bug fixes has already been submitted to the App Store. As a Simplenote user, I was also able to import my Simplenote notes into Synotes using the web interface. The only downside with this method is that it doesn’t sync between services automatically. It’s fine for a one-time conversion of all your notes, but it’s not that great an option if you use both apps.
The Synotes iPhone and iPad app are each sold separately for $1.99. That’s OK, but keep in mind that Simplenote is a universal binary (and free — though premium features cost $8.99 a year) that runs on both the iPad and iPhone. Using the web-based service is free, and setting up an account is fast and simple.
While I like the design of Synotes better than Simplenote’s, Simplenote is currently more extensible. A dashboard widget for Mac OS X makes accessing Simplenote notes really easy, and there are third-party programs, including NotationalVelocity, that work with Simplenote. Synotes has an API, but it hasn’t been integrated into as many other platforms or services.
Still, it’s hard to find a lot of fault in a great way to keep notes synced both with the cloud and across multiple devices. I would love to see Synotes incorporate support for more note-taking apps and perhaps the ability to import more types of notes. As it stands, it’s a solid option for anyone looking at a cloud-based note solutions.
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