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android text editorDo you find yourself wanting to create basic text documents while you’re out and about? You probably carry your phone with you wherever you go, but it’s likely you leave the laptop at home on occasion. But this is no obstacle, since there are more than a few great Android text editors and note-taking apps you can use on your Android phone.

What we’re looking for today is the perfect minimalist full-screen Android text editor. The goal ultimately is to be able to write in a distraction-free environment using an Android phone or tablet. However, when it comes to writing, a phone app’s utility is vastly increased by being able to sync to online storage and applications for other operating systems, browsers and web apps. The app that does both of these things best will be the winner in my eyes, but I will also rank highly anything that excels at being distraction-free. Being able to quickly get to a screen where you can start writing is a boon, too.

Since I’m using an HTC Desire, I also have a need for small Android text editor apps on my phone. Anything that takes up too much space on my phone gets deleted in short order, no matter how awesome it is.

Some of the note-taking apps available are fantastic at quickly allowing you to get writing, so I’ll compare a few of those too. You may also like to read Joel’s comparison of four of the top note-taking apps for Android Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? At one time, people actually had to carry around notebooks if they wanted to take notes - remember the once-big fad of Moleskine notebooks? Nowadays, smartphones have made most pocket objects obsolete. Why carry around... Read More : SpringPad Springpad's User Interface Makes It an Awesome iPhone Cross-Platform Notebook Springpad's User Interface Makes It an Awesome iPhone Cross-Platform Notebook Read More , Catch, Evernote Evernote - The Killer App For The Android Mobile Phone Evernote - The Killer App For The Android Mobile Phone Read More and OneNote Comparing Evernote to OneNote on an Android Phone Comparing Evernote to OneNote on an Android Phone It's no secret that folks at MUO really like note-taking apps. Evernote in particular has become a favorite for a lot of people. It's constantly mentioned around the net as one of the best note-taking... Read More . Of these apps, only Evernote and OneNote are renowned for being minimalist, so we’ll touch on those briefly in order to compare them with the other Android text editor apps I’ve found.

Simple Notepad

Simple Notepad is surprisingly feature-laden for such a small app. Besides editing text in a simple full-screen view, you can also add photos, use voice input, upload to Google Drive/Evernote/Dropbox, send the note to your calendar, pin it to your notifications bar, turn notes into checklists, make widgets of your notes, add reminders, password protect notes and much more. In the settings, you can choose to open a new note when the app is opened, making it really quick to use. Note that the default lined look is optional. However, for all its features, Simple Notepad is not an app for styling text, so keep that in mind.

android text editor

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Flick Note

Flick Note looks great, but is lacking in features compared to some of the other apps Flick Note: Jot Down Notes With Speed and Ease! [Android] Flick Note: Jot Down Notes With Speed and Ease! [Android] As a writer, I need to be taking notes on a 24/7 basis. Notes just make it so easy to track my errands, duties, and obligations. If it weren’t for all the notes that I... Read More . This is because things like widgets and to-do lists are reserved for the paid version. It does allow text formatting, and it has neat tools like saving to HTML format. Flick Note will sync with simplenote.com but not yet with the big cloud storage providers.

text editor for android

Google Docs

android editor
The Google Drive application gives you access to all your Google Documents and lets you create new ones easily. The documents sync to Google online and back to your computers if you have Google Drive installed. It’s quick to start a new document and get writing, plus the interface is beautifully simple. Sadly, the app is enormous. And no, using Google docs through the browser doesn’t compare.

Jota

text editor for android
Jota (pronounced iota) is a little simplistic compared to the other apps. However, Jota is quite powerful and geek-friendly, with a lot of emphasis on character codes. This open-source app also has spell-check and voice input apps available to complement it. Upon opening Jota, you’re instantly working with a new document, ready to type. The first time you save each document, you’re faced with a lot of choices, which is good for control freaks but not so much for time-saving.

Writer

Writer is by far the smallest of these editing apps at 96K! It’s well-designed, being both simple and stylish using black-and-white. Entering a note is quick, and saving the note is automatic when you quit the note. If you exit the app, your note in progress will re-open. Writer uses a simple markdown notation to format the text. Information such as word count can be found under the “i” button.

text editor for android

Evernote

android editor

Evernote is everything you could possibly want in a note-taking, syncing application Springpad vs Evernote: Why Visual Orientation Matters in an Online Notebook Springpad vs Evernote: Why Visual Orientation Matters in an Online Notebook It's easy to understand why there are tons of online and software notebooks out there to choose from: mainly because there is so much information to manage, bookmark, and share in our online and mobile... Read More . It’s easy to organise, you can record all sorts of thoughts, photos, audio and whatever. It’s sleek and easy-to-use when you’re writing, too. You can get writing pretty quickly using the note button. Where it falls down is that it’s a gigantic app.

OneNote

android text editor

OneNote is a beautifully elegant app, which syncs to Skydrive and then your office documents on your desktop 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Microsoft OneNote 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Microsoft OneNote Read More . You can get straight into writing and format things nicely as you go. Requires Android 2.3 and up.

http://youtu.be/GRJzi2WoZOQ

Also To Try

There were a number of great looking apps that I didn’t compare in this review (due to incompatibility with my phone mainly), but which may well be worth a closer look: Springpad; Catch; Write (for tablets only – available for a few dollars); Wordpad (beta); Android Text Editor (costs a few dollars); Lightpaper (review of Lightpaper here Write & Preview Markdown In Style With LightPaper [Android] Write & Preview Markdown In Style With LightPaper [Android] A text editor should not get in your face. The more you notice it, the worse it is. The best ones are nearly invisible, staying out of the way and letting you become one with... Read More ); and Draft (costs a few dollars).

Which Minimalist Text Editor Is Best?

So, which of these is best? Well, it depends on what you want (of course). If you’re already a heavy Evernote, OneNote or Google Docs user, and you can spare the space, it may be easier to just use their app directly. If you’re looking for a sleek, small app to do quick notes with a little formatting, choose Writer. It’s tiny and amazingly good at what it does. If you’re looking for note-taking with all the bells and whistles bar formatting, choose Simple Notepad. It’s small, incredibly powerful, has many unexpectedly useful features, yet can be adjusted to suit whatever your style is.

Let us know which text editor you use on Android and why.

  1. Kyle Strand
    September 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It looks like you're treating at least three different types of apps as though they had equivalent purposes: full-featured document-editors (Google Docs), memo apps (Evernote), and true text editors (Jota). A *text editor* is a program that merely edits *text*--meaning that when you view a file, the data on the disk is exactly what the editor displays, with no extra "metadata". This is not true for something like Google Docs. Text editors are needed to edit configuration files and software source code--but from the article, it doesn't sound like you're doing either of these. So if Jota seems "a little simplistic" to you, it's because you're not using it for what it's designed for.

  2. Ken
    December 21, 2013 at 5:01 am
  3. Rickey Shortt
    June 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    While I heavily use Evernote and Google Drive/Google Docs on both my phone and desktop, it seems the Google Keep would also be an excellent addition to this list. It's definitely quick, simple, and pretty clean, as well as being a fairly small app. Not sortable other than archiving and being able to search, but they sync to the cloud, and can be shared to anything your phone will allow you to share to if you later need to do more with it than is possible in Keep.

    At first, I was very unimpressed with this app because i insisted on comparing it to Evernote, but now I am finding it has its own very useful niche if Google doesn't eventually bloat it too much.

    • Rickey Shortt
      June 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I hit the Post Comment button a little too quick, and so I apologize for the poor writing, run on sentences, and a couple of typos. But the thoughts still stand.

  4. Switchblade Switchblade
    June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Evernote: King of Notepad apps in Android
    OneNote: Paired with SkyDrive good if you're a MS guy
    Jota: Best offline notepad app.

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