Simplenote for Android is a Free, Fast and Fantastic Notepad

Mihir Patkar 02-10-2013

Good apps like to show off their many features. Great apps get out of the way and let you do what you came to do. And that’s what Simplenote has always been about. It has been the best note-taking app on the Web, Windows, Mac or iOS Simplify Note-Taking & Sync Notes Everywhere With Simplenote Apps Simplenote and its ecosystem of apps for every platform toss all the superfluous features found in competing note-taking programs and focus on the ones that matter. All Simplenote apps sync effortlessly, with minimal interfaces that... Read More , and new owners Automattic (the same company behind WordPress) has now brought this same simplicity to Android for free Simplenote Launches Official Android App For Easy Note-Taking Finally, the long wait is over! Simplenote has released an official note-taking app for Android, which is similar to the one that has been on the iOS App Store for a while now. Read More .


Well, all that changes with Simplenote for Android. Let’s dive right in…

Keep It Simple, Stupid

When on Windows, you probably use Notepad extensively to jot down notes or even as a clipboard. On Android, that’s what Simplenote can be. It’s the perfect app to just take notes, journal your thoughts, or even get some good writing done From Idea to Final Draft: How to Increase Your Writing Productivity You don't have to be Stephen King to be a productive writer. Using the right applications and writing tips, you can get more writing done with less frustration, and finish what you start. Read More .

Local & Sync

You can use Simplenote locally, without creating an account. This stores all your notes on your Android device itself without syncing it to the server and thus making it available on any other device. However, I’d suggest you make an account because Simplenote’s strength is its syncing and sharing.


You can share any note you create, via any medium on Android. I tried sharing a note via email, Whatsapp and text message and each time, it came through perfectly. You can even turn any note into a link to share with the public at large (as long as you took the time to open a Simplenote account.).

Simplenote for Android is a Free, Fast and Fantastic Notepad Simplenote For Android Share Search



Perhaps the best part of Simplenote is its robust search, which not only searches the headers but through the full text of each note. This data is indexed, so your search will update results in real-time as you type.

Text Editor

The first line of each note is what will be used as the header to identify the note, so make it a good one. Think of this as the note’s ‘name’. Simplenote doesn’t have rich text formatting tools for compositions, nor does it include bullet points or strikethroughs to work as a to-do list. But nonetheless, you can use it for either task and get the job done (remember, it also has sharing baked in). Like I said, think of it as Notepad on your Android.



Tags are a way for you to easily group notes and find them later. It’s fairly straightforward: write a word and hit Space to create a tag. Tags can also be used as a shortcut to share a note with a friend, by adding their email address as a tag.


The main list view lets you browse through the tags at any time and tap one to show all notes tagged with it. The menu options also let you edit tags to change their name or delete them entirely. This is also a good place to see how many times a tag is used through your notes.


Next to the tag section of a note, you will find a radio button that can be used to pin a note to the top of the main list of notes.

Simplenote for Android is a Free, Fast and Fantastic Notepad Simplenote For Android Pinned Notes Condensed View Normal Comparison


The main screen of Simplenote is a straightforward list of all the notes you have saved. There are two views for this list: condensed (just the headers) and normal (headers as well as the first few lines of text). You can sort the list by modification date, creation date, or alphabetically.


What’s Missing

There are two things I missed on Simplenote and I hope the devs will incorporate them in updates. First is the ability to create bullets or check-boxes, which would go a long way towards making the app more efficient as a to-do list. And second, I wish there was a widget so that I could keep Simplenote open on a homescreen to use quickly.

Users of phones with a stylus will also be disheartened to know that Simplenote does not recognise stylus input, so you will have to rely on a different app like Supernote for handwritten notes Take Handwritten Notes Online or Offline With SuperNote for Android I tested out a number of device-based note-taking apps, and eventually settled on the one that I consider the best of the best, called SuperNote. Don't bother checking Google Play for the app - it... Read More .

Better Than The Rest

There are plenty of note-taking apps on Android — some of them even use Simplenote as a backend — but Automattic’s offering is as good as it gets. It’s got a lovely design and is fluid to use. And since this is a native app by the original makers, the transitions between Web, iOS and Android feels more seamless than using a third-party app like Flick Notes.

So will you be downloading Simplenote to your Android device? How did you find it? If not, which note-taking app do you use and why do you think it’s better than Simplenote?


Image: Stephen Dann

Related topics: Note-Taking Apps, Notepad.

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  1. mishal
    November 25, 2013 at 12:48 am

    how about syncing up my clipboard with simplenote ?

  2. Naval G
    October 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Is there a specific app which works nice with a stylus on Samsung Tab?

  3. Jeff Schallenberg
    October 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Simplenote is simple, all right. But I prefer the power of Google Keep. It does checklists and reminders, for starters.

  4. Thu Y
    October 3, 2013 at 7:39 am

    what is it compared to evernote?

    • Mihir Patkar
      October 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

      Evernote is a much more robust note-taking app. Let me put it this way: Evernote is a note-taking, bookmarking, scrapping and even annotating app. It's more than just a 'note taker' at this point, imho. Simplenote is just about writing plain text notes into a notepad, nothing more. If you're an Evernote user, you might find Simplenote a little basic. But if Evernote gets overwhelming for you, then Simplenote is a far better option. Personally, I've gotten used to a Pocket+Simplenote combination over my earlier "Evernote for everything" way :)