Application Name: Catch Notes
Description: Notepad with geotagging, picture embedding; online sync.
Publisher’s website: Snaptic
Version/date reviewed: v.2.0.1 / 10-1-10
Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2
Catch Notes is a terrific free note-taking application for the Android platform from Snaptic.
Figure 1: From the main screen, tap on the “Enter A Private Note” to start up a note; tapping on the picture icon takes you automatically to your camera app to snap a shot. Here, I’ll just start out with a note …
Figure 2: Type whatever text you want into the box at top. You also can use the buttons at the bottom to:
- Take a single photo and attach it to the note (more below)
- Attach a single photo from your gallery to the note; this didn’t work for me on my Droid X, YMMV
- Scan a barcode and enter the data into your note. For regular 2D UPC codes, this enters the UPC number into your note; you’ll have to look up the product data separately. For QR codes, whatever data is embedded in the QR code will be entered into the note.
Figure 3: If I choose to take a picture, my camera app will start up, letting me shoot the photo. After the picture is taken, the menu at left shows up onscreen; I can choose to reshoot the photo, abort the photo, or click “Done” to accept the photo and go back to the note page.
Figure 4: A thumbnail of the photo shows up at the bottom of the screen. But the full-resolution photo is also saved on your unit, and can be downloaded to your computer later on. Add whatever additional notes you want, and save the note. Putting a hash tag (#) in front of a word marks it as a label for help in organizing/categorizing/sorting your notes.
Figure 5: A listing for the new note shows up on your main screen, along with picture thumbnail; tapping on the note listing will bring it up a full view of it for reading/editing. You can also share a note publicly via email or social network sites, or send it to other compatible apps on your unit (e.g. Evernote).
The little teardrop icon at lower left in the note listing indicates that I’ve turned on “Location tagging” and “Location pin” from the Settings menu; this embeds the latitude/longitude into the note info, and shows that the note is geotagged. However, the app seems to automatically reverse-geocode the lat/long and displays an address at the bottom of the note if one is nearby; seems you can’t choose to just display latitude/longitude. I hope they offer that option in the future, as well as the option to remove the geotagging data if you don’t want it. But tomorrow’s post will show a way to get around that limitation.
If a note is geotagged, you’ll have the option to “Show on Map” appear in the menu settings; this will display a placemark icon in Google Maps indicating where the note was created.
You have the option of signing up for a free account with Snaptic; if you do, notes can be synced onto your online account for viewing/editing/sharing:
If you’re not online, no problem – notes are saved locally, and can be synced later. You have the option of automatic syncing whenever there’s a connection, or manually starting the sync process whenever you like. Snaptic syncing also works with their AK Notepad app, which is a fine plain-vanilla note app by itself (but Catch Notes is better).
IMO, Catch Notes is the best basic note-taking app available for Android; it has just enough features to be useful, but not so many to make it difficult to learn. And online data sync is bonus. As-is, its geotagging capabilities are limited, but still useful. But there’s another app that significantly augments the geotagging of Catch Notes, and takes it to another level. That’s tomorrow’s post.
10/1/10 to reflect change of app’s name to “Catch Notes” from “3banana”