December 10, 2012

The state of Txt syncing to iOS from nvALT

Simplenote problems?

Brett Terpstra sent out an advisory regarding problems syncing between nvALT and Simplenote a few weeks ago. Apparantly the issue was fixed by Symperium soon afterwards. Many users have defected from the Simplenote ecosystem recently to Dropbox syncing. Personally I have not had any major data loss in Simplenote.

Branching out

I decided to take a look at Dropbox sync even though I had not made the decision to fully abandon Simolenote.

Noticeable was the hit and miss nature of iOS apps when it comes to feature sets on TXT editors that sync via Dropbox. It is hard to replicate Simplenote’s email inbox feature and tagging. However, other features are available such as markdown editing (Byword and others) and faster syncing.

App comments

I tweeted a lot of observations regarding specific apps as I used them. Obviously, there are many apps I did not evaluate.

My favorite apps

Writeroom - fast syncing, adjustable row/line height to allow more lines in the screen, adjustable colors (I like white on black sometimes).

Byword - excellent markdown support, nice UI.

Mac desktop apps

nvALT is king for me due to an open file directory, reveal in finder,” ability to open in external text editors. Metanota and Justnotes appear to have a closed file system (like old Devonthink).

What to do?

I’m still evaluating an nvALT + Dropbox system while keeping an eye on the Simplenote + nvALT interaction. I’m setting up replicating the nvALT notes folder on a schedule so there is a backup if I do encounter a problem with syncing. I like tags more than folder organization so I’m still a fan of Simplenote. However, MD editing in Byword is very useful.

Some pleas

Symperium: please note that nvALT users are a big part of your user base. Please do what you can to keep nvALT syncing robust.

nvALT devs (including Brett Terpstra): consider charging money for nvALT to make it more worth your time to maintain Simplenote sync.

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