Tag Archives: Paper

Duly Noted

We all have times when we need to jot down a few notes on the go. To-do list items and appointments are one thing, but notes are more:  the name of a contractor, the model number of a thing you want to buy, a story idea, a recipe or paint color at the hardware store. And it’s even cooler when you can sync up your mobile thoughts with your desktop like. Here are four multi-platform apps to consider:

evernote• Evernote is the pretty much the good standard for many a jotter — or people collaborating across different platforms on a project. Evernote works on most mobile and desktop systems and you can sync your notes and projects across them all. You can save webpages, email, audio clips, photos, charts, chats and more in your Evernote projects. It also has an extensive help section with videos, three levels of service — from free to paid to even more paid.

• Microsoft OneNote is another established digital notes-taking app that works on most major mobile and desktop platforms. It’s free and you can save mail, webpages and photos into it, plus it has integration with other apps like WordPress, Chegg, Feedly and several scanning apps. Microsoft also just announced this week that OneNote has formed a partnership with FiftyThree to support its Paper app and Pencil stylus. (OneNote will also work with the Apple Pencil, whenever that fancy $100 stick rolls into town.)

onenote

keep• Google Keep is the notes ‘n’ lists app for Google and Android users and stores your various types of thoughts in colorful boxes within the app on screen. If inspiration strikes, you can dictate your thoughts into the app, too. It’s all tied to your Google account, so  you can get to all your kept items tucked away in the program through phone, tablet, computer or Android wearables.

• iOS 9 Notes from Apple is a major improvement over the limited notepad app that’s been in iOS since 2007. You ios9can whip up to-do lists and checklists if you want, but you can also doodle or sketch with your finger, add maps, photos, webpages and text to your notes. And if you’re hooked into iCloud, the service will sync all your notes across your Mac and other iOS devices.

Plenty of other note-taking apps are out there to consider too. No matter which one you use, odds are it’s going to be more versatile than the scraps of paper we grew up using — and often losing.

PTJ 81: Facebook’s Paper Beats Scissors

Facebook celebrates its 10th anniversary this week by allowing users to automagically create a short video highlight reel  of their time on the world’s most popular social network.  The decade old soc net also released a new iPhone-only mobile client dubbed Paper and J.D. gives us her review.  While he believes America is beautiful in any language, the Twitter backlash to Coca-Cola’s now famous multicultural Super Bowl advertisement has left El Kaiser less than thrilled.

In the news Microsoft finally picks a new CEO as Windows 8.1, Update 1 software leaks onto various file-sharing sites around the Internet; Google updates their Google Now service on mobile devices; Iridium introduces a WiFi hotspot that can get you on the Internet all over the world with a satellite connection; and Apple continues to note the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh computer with a celebratory movie shot by 15 camera crews using 100 iPhones.

The Paper Chase

A few weeks ago, we mentioned reports of a new Facebook app in the works — called sort of weirdly enough for the digital realm — by the name of Paper. Last week, Facebook confirmed Paper’s existence, put out a promo video and released the app on February 3rd. Many people virtually ran right over to the App Store to download it and check it out.

fbp1So just what is Paper? In short, it’s basically a new skin for your Facebook page that knocks it out of the endless vertical scroll format. Paper looks like a visual mashup of elements — part Flipboard’s mix of news and status updates, with a dash of the full-screen photo-treatment found Google+ and a splash of the modular tiles seen in Windows Phone. It’s customizable (to a certain degree) so you can arrange stuff the way you want to see it. With it, you flick through both your Facebook life and news from around the world.

fbp5Right now, the app is for iPhones running iOS 7 only. There’s no widescreen iPad HD version, nor is there an Android edition. (Perhaps the larger screen sizes of tablets and phablets defeats the purpose of having Facebook as a one-handed read.)

When you download the app on your iPhone and open it for the first time, it lifts your Facebook credentials from the regular Facebook app — if you have it installed. So there’s not much effort needed to get rolling in Paper.

fbp4The Paper app divides the screen into one large section at the top, and a series of smaller vertical tiles long the bottom half of the screen. You flick through each half of the screen to navigate through your chosen feeds: Facebook, Headlines, Tech, Pop Life and so on.

As usual, your Facebook feed shows the stuff from your friends, and the others (like Headlines) show articles from major news organizations and blogs on various topics . Overlaid icons at the top of the screen let you tap in to see Facebook messages and notifications without having to navigate away from the screen at hand.

Flick through the tiles along the bottom to glance at status updates and news dispatches in small type; tap one to make it readable.  A tutorial greets you the first time you open the app and explains all the various swipes and taps you need to do to navigate Paper. You may need to use it a few days to get the hang of what to swipe and where to flick, but here are some basic moves:

  • Drag down from the top of the screen to see your timeline, create posts, edit sections or adjust your settings.
  • Drag up on the top of a story tile to open the full version in the site. This part feels very Flipboardy.
  • Tap photos or videos to see them in full screen.
  • Drag a tile down to the bottom of the screen to return to the layout.

fbp2Who might like Paper? People who like all their information in one place, ready to be absorbed at a glance. Or maybe those who were bored with the regular Facebook mobile app.

But for those who like their Facebook feed all mixed together and linear — or who get mad every time Facebook redesigns itself — well, those folks will probably be annoyed with it. The app doesn’t feel as customizable as it could be with fonts and section topics. With iOS 7, there’s also the clashing UX issues of swiping the edges of the display and inadvertently summoning the iPhone’s Notifications screen or the Control Center.

But Paper is free, easy to install and worth a look if you like your news updates to be a mix of personal and  public. (Want more reviews? Time, The Verge, CNET and even MIT have weighed in.)

And if you don’t like Paper, go back to the old Facebook app. They haven’t taken it away. Yet, anyway.