Dropbox is one of the best free tools to ever hit the Mac. Much more than a simple backup utility, people use Dropbox in all sorts of different ways, from hosting entire websites to sharing files with classmates.
The Dropbox API makes it possible for developers to integrate Dropbox functionality into their own apps. The most popular use of this technology we’re seeing on the iPhone is a recent crop of Dropbox-compatible note-taking applications. These apps allow you to create notes on your iPhone and then access them on any computer or mobile device where you have Dropbox installed. Below we’ll take a brief look at a few of these Dropbox note apps so you can decide which is best for you.
We’ll start off with an app that’s simple, attractive and free; just like Dropbox. I really like the PlainText interface, it’s super minimal with attractive use of thin lines and old style serif typography.
Plain Text doesn’t try to be cute or give you some trendy theme but instead focuses on high usability and readability. Unsurprisingly, it’s from the same developer as Writeroom, another awesomely simple text editing application for both Mac and iOS.
PlainText also looks beautiful on the iPad:
While PlainText seeks to standout in its simplicity, Nebulous Notes goes the opposite route by setting itself up as one of the most powerful Dropbox text editors around.
Apart from the obvious Dropbox syncing functionality, this app has a number of advanced features including TextExpander support, customizable fonts, full-screen editing, multiline tabbing, word count with goals, and an awesome customizable macro system for frequently used keys that aren’t easy to access on the iPhone.
Another great feature is the ability to choose from various visual themes for for coding, writing, and dream journaling. If you like the dark environment of Writeroom but want the convenience of Dropbox integration, you’ll definitely want to check this app out.
Nocs takes a completely different route for text editing by focusing on rich formatting. The text editors above are great for simple text, but what if you want bold headers, links or bullet lists?
This is where Markdown comes in. Using this simple language, you can easily apply formatting to your writing using special symbols. To learn more about Markdown, check out our recent review of a markdown email client.
Nocs, allows you to create documents using Markdown, preview them with the formatting and even export them as HTML. It also has support for a number of file types including PDFs, Pages documents, Word Documents and more.
Other Dropbox Text Editors
The three apps above represent the range of basic concepts under which developers are releasing Dropbox notes applications. There are a few more apps that you might want to check out that basically mimic the functionality of one of those above, with slight variations.
- Droptext (A text editor for Dropbox): $0.99
- Elements – Dropbox Powered Text Editor: $4.99
- Notesy for Dropbox: $1.99
- JotAgent ~ quick Dropbox notes: $0.99
- Textforce – Dropbox text editing: $3.99
To sum up, if you’ve been searching for a good way to create text documents and share them across all your various computing devices, check out the great selection of Dropbox text editors in the app store. Whether you’re looking for simple text and a beautiful interface, or powerful features and Markdown formatting, the apps above will get you what you need.
Leave a comment below and let us know which of these apps you use. Also be sure to let us know about any other great Dropbox utilities you’ve come across.