For whatever reason, Android does not come with a note-taking application. Whether Google’s new first-party app will be bundled with the other gApps is still unknown. The whole thing just seems strange. Why is there not a default notes app on Android? Why do so many of the third-party apps fall short?
That’s what Jonas Kalderstam thought when he developed NoNonsense Notes. “When I got my Galaxy Nexus in December 2011 (some months after ICS was introduced) I was disappointed by the lack of good looking notes applications.” Thus, NoNonsense Notes was born.
What is it?
NoNonsense Notes is a simple, clean to-do app with no bloat. It supports multiple Holo themes and follows Android 4.0 design guidelines to the letter.
The entire app is built on the idea of simplicity. You create lists. Those lists have multiple checked items which can be completed at your leisure. Lists sync with Google Tasks.
That’s it. NoNonsense Notes is exactly that- a notes application without any nonsense or extra features to bloat the application. That’s impressive.
Kalderstam says that this minimalist approach to development has had a cost. “It only got really hard when cutting features meant possibly disappointing someone who really liked the app and just wanted that one missing thing.”
Still, users seem to like it. “The amount of users certainly don’t compare to some of the other apps in this category, but a fair amount of people seem to think this app is just what they want,” Kalderstam said.
We agree with the users who like NoNonsense Notes. The clean interface and understandable user interface make managing lists easy.
We also appreciated the hidden features under the hood like due dates, passwords, reminders, and extra details in the notes section. NoNonsense Notes does a good job of walking the fine line between having features and having unnecessary bloat.
Kalderstam is committed to keeping the app minimalistic. “I refused to use Google’s own bloat-ridden libraries (the app was 400KB, the library was 3MB).”
In days to come, Kalderstam hopes to implement user-reorderable items. “I have spent far more time on this than any other single feature,” he said. “I have tried three separate times to implement it but ended up trashing the first two implementations. It was only last week that I completed a prototype that actually worked.
“Right now I’m planning some major overhauls for the UI to integrate some of the new designs features that have come about since Jelly Bean. I have learned so much about SQL during development that I am going to migrate to a new database schema. I also plan to implement some much needed alternative from Google Tasks in case that goes the same way as Google Reader did.”
And what about Google’s new first-party notes app, Keep?
Kaderstam knows his app has a few features Keep lacks. “Those who are more interested in tasks will probably find it lacking,” he said.
We approve of NoNonsense Notes. Sometimes we just need a simple checklist, not a full-featured saving service like Evernote. This is a simpler way of doing thing.
If nothing else, it handles shopping lists like a champ.