Continuing the Android PIM Note App Review, we've got AK Notepad. (That's right, I spent so much time massaging my data that, to make up for the delay, you get two reviews in one day!)

AK Notepad is the stripped-down, streamlined predecessor to Catch. Version 2.3.1 is still for free available on the Android Market, so I thought I'd give it a try. How'd it do? Click through to find out.

  • Text Entry: Good.

    AK Notepad has a common problem with long text fields: you scroll to the bottom, you tap the location where you want to enter text, and it automatically scrolls back to the top. Usually scrolling to the bottom puts you back on the cursor, and this is the case with AK Notepad; sometimes it can get a little ridiculous, though.

  • Data Synchronization: Fair.

    AK Notepad syncs through You need to get an account, but it's free, and comes with 70MB of storage. I'd prefer to sync through Google Docs, but I'm not willing to take points off for that. works fine from my Linux machine running Firefox; it should work for just about anybody.

    However, synchronization fails in a few small ways. If you modify a note on your phone and on, the version on wins. No notification, no merging, no nothing. Also, titles are not synchronized: uses the first line of your note, with a length limit, as its title. If you've assigned a title on the phone, it is not uploaded to If you get a note from, it has the first line as its title. It's true that your note's body gets saved, but you lose the title.

  • Search Integration: Excellent!

    From your global settings, go to "Search". Make sure "AK Notepad" is enabled -- by default, it's not. Now use that nifty search button to search your phone (iPhone doesn't have a nifty search button, nyah nyah). Any results from the titles or body text of your notes are displayed under "More Results". What more could you ask for?

  • Import/Export: Poor.

    AK Notepad allows you to export notes to the SD card. Each note gets its own file, and the file is named to the title of the note. Of course, you can use characters that are invalid for the file system in the note title. I didn't bother to try hacking the system; I just don't want to deal with that possible mess.

    Import does the same thing, backwards. You have to choose a directory to import text files from, and the chooser doesn't show them in alphabetical order (huh?!?), so it can be a pain to find the notes you want to import.

    To import my Palm notes, I could save as CSV, then use Vim and the Unix command-line to cut, paste, and generally whip the data into shape: a bunch of text files that would get imported as expected. But lo, that's a lot of work.

    In short, no built-in Palm memo import, nor any support for other apps. Just batch notes to and from SD card.

  • Data Hierarchy: Fair.

    AK Notepad uses tags for its data hierarchy. The tags will be familiar to anyone who uses Twitter: just put an octothorpe (bet you didn't know I knew that word) in front of any word, anywhere in the note, and it tags the note. I tagged a note #personal, #school, and #SHS with no problem.

    Unfortunately, the tags aren't hierarchical. They don't work like directories; everything is flat. Additionally, Swype doesn't recognize # for tags, so it puts in a space you need to delete. Annoying.

    AK Notepad also suffers from one of the big drawbacks of tags: tag proliferation. #restaurant is different from #restaurants, which is different from a misspelling like #restaraunt. Suddenly you've got three tags, when you really only wanted one. AK Notepad doesn't provide you with any way to manage the tags. Neither does, so far as I can tell, so you're stuck with it.

    I suppose this is the best place to put another beef: sorting. You can select a tag you like from a list of tags, which is in alphabetical order. However, the notes in that tag are presented in some other order, even when the preference setting is set to "Alphabetical". That alone makes it difficult to use as a note-taking app.

    Finally, the tag detector is happy to take tags from anywhere in the note... including text you never really meant as tags. Therefore I now have tags like "#6". A quick search didn't show any way to prevent a particular tag from being processed.

  • Data Integration: Good.

    AK Notepad calls this "Auto-link". It claims to work on telephone numbers and web URLs. However, it considered my dates (written in computer programmer format, like 2011-06-01) to be telephone numbers. Additionally, there's no way to click on the URLs unless you first change the "Default action" preference to "View note". Of course, thereafter when you want to edit a note, you have to open it, then choose "Edit" from the menu. Pain.

  • App Integration: Missing.

    I can't find a calendar or task list app that integrates with AK Notepad. That's normal for Android apps. Of course, it does allow you to set alarms on your notes... but again, that's not what we're looking for.

AK Notepad comes with a few themes, but the smallest font size still takes up too much space. It's pretty stripped-down, which is fine for my purposes; I really just need something to take notes and synchronize with, and I don't want voice memos and picture memos. Like Note Everything, it starts fast and allows you to easily enter new notes.

Overall, I rate AK Notepad "Poor". Its sync is only fair, even if I don't object that it's yet another website I've got to get an account on. The poor import/export and sorting drops the rating another notch. The other features are generally lackluster, so they just can't make up for it. Nothing I see here makes me want to spend extra time with AK Notepad.