In earlier reviews, my "exec summaries" were very brief and for some reason I've been writing more lately. Send me a note and let me know if you prefer brief summaries or this extra verbiage.
This week I played with a really interesting app called EZ Notes. I've spent more time researching this one than most of the apps. I found out about it through a Google Alert which is kind of ironic.
The app is really quite amazing. With a single click, it can record my voice, transcribe the words, and store them in a new text note amazingly fast. I was blown away by the simplicity and the speed of it. I even like the logo which sounds odd but it catches my attention! This is the perfect app if you need to remember something or take some fleeting notes.
Most often with these note-taking apps, it's hard to find information about the Developer. Not so in this case as the creator of EZ Notes is fairly transparent.
His initial idea:
"Wouldn't it be great if my transcriber, my smartphone, could record voice in such a way that I don't have to do anything extra. I just speak and I'm done. Wouldn't that be brilliant." - Alexander Madini
On the plus side, Alexander accomplished his goal. He's passionate about privacy like me and he seems very sincere and determined to build an app that makes peoples' lives better. He poured almost a decade of his life into building the app on his own with very little encouragement from others, more the opposite.
"For first 5 years put in 100 hour weeks, 16 hours a day"
On the downside, I watched a couple of YouTube videos this morning, one which is over an hour long. It seems that Alexander has gone through a lot over the years and from some of the reviews on Google Play, he received negative feedback after moving to subscription-based payments with no one-time permanent purchase option.
I empathize with what Alexander has gone through but saying the app is an "entity" and the community is a "movement" on a "mission" to go against evil "giants" like Google (Keep), Evernote, and Facebook (WhatsApp) who collect all of our information and are committing a "sin" was hard to read.
I agree it's very worrisome that a lot of companies, not just large corporations, are collecting and using way too much of our data and that's why I worked hard to be Google-free, as in free of Google in my personal life. And here I am reviewing note-taking apps for Google's Android Operating System. It's almost impossible to escape Google if you use the Internet and an Android phone.
OK, finally onto my review.
- Score: 8/10
- Device: Samsung S20 5G
- Developer: Alexander Madini
- Google Play rating: 3.8*
- Facebook: EZ Notes
- Location: California, U.S.A.
- Couldn't figure out how to get rid of the lines within a note
- The "about page" has links that don't do anything when clicked on my device
- When I select text text in the title to edit it I can't tell it's selected due to the background color used. Selecting text in the note is the opposite, very clear what I selected
- Indentation of text from the bullet uses too much space
- To empty trash, the action is "Clear storage" which worried me: what am I clearing? all my notes?
- No import function
- No Markdown support (input or export)
- When sharing a note, there's no "- " included for bullets
- Drawing function is super basic and it looks it as well. I'd almost remove it as it takes away from the overall experience
- Couldn't figure out how to save multiple drawings, I think because it's intended as just a scratchpad
- No export to PDF (likely doesn't make sense for this app)
- Sharing the note didn't include the image(s)
- Price is OK: $2.99/mo, $15.25/ 6 mos, $25.92/yr especially given the time it will save you and keep you out of trouble from forgetting the milk
- Text formatting: bold, italics, strike-through, underline
- When creating a note the title moves up so you have extra space
- Adds "(Recovered Note, delete this sentence)" after pulling a note out of the trash
- Export all notes in text file
- Undo and redo
- Numbered lists
- Add images (or photos) inline
- 13 languages
- 10 font sizes (for some text in a note or the whole note)
- Dark mode
- Highlight text with 9 preset colors (wish they were more pastel) but can customize and choose from a color wheel
- Color a note (upgrade)
- Speech to text inside a note (upgrade)
- Rename folders (upgrade)
- Share a note as text
- Card or list view of notes
- Shows date last modified in the note list
- To-do list (separate)
- Create a rudimentary drawing
- Voice input (to text)
- Does not keep the voice recordings and use up space
- Set priority of note: normal, important, urgent
- Read aloud -- amazing for accessibility
- Local first
- Swipe to delete a note
- Wish I could swipe left (or right) to put it in some default folder
- S-Pen support (see Bad)
- Export all notes to a single text file
- Insane number of fonts
- Local first
- Once launched, it's incredibly fast!
- No need for any additional Android access permissions
- Cheap to get so much functionality