I’d like to recommend two great iOS apps that work in the cloud using Dropbox. Hopefully any serious computer user already has a Dropbox account. If you don’t, stop reading this and go download it. Every user gets 2 GB of cloud storage for free. I have it on all my computers and my phone.
The first app you should check out is called Plaintext. It has replaced the Notes app for me on my iPhone. Plaintext is a free and simple barebones text editor. What makes it so useful is that there is no local saving of text files. It automatically saves everything you type into a folder on Dropbox. Plaintext makes note-taking much easier than using the Notes app where you sync files via iTunes. I can now jot down notes on the go and when I get home to my computer, the notes are already there waiting for me. It works in the opposite direction as well. I can write and save files to the Plaintext folder in Dropbox on my computer and I can access and edit them on my phone. There are other apps that do the same type of thing that Plaintext does, but Plaintext is completely free and does works perfectly. I highly recommend it.
Sometimes I don’t feel like typing long notes on my phone and would rather record a voice memo. Say hello to Dropvox. It is a simple voice recorder where the recordings are automatically saved to Dropbox. The Dropvox app is extremely basic, almost to a fault. You can’t go back and listen to what you just recorded, or see a list of files saved. It is a one-way street. Of course, you could use the Dropbox iOS app if you want to browse what is in the folder. Limitations aside, it’s nice to sit at my computer and see the files of my recordings waiting for me. This is easier than using the Voice Memos app included in iOS where you have to sync the phone to iTunes to get the files. Granted, the audio quality is compressed with Dropvox, so you wouldn’t want to use it in situations where you want the best audio quality. I tend to use it when I’m driving and I want to remind myself of something to look up later, or something to add to my hate list, for instance. Dropvox costs 99 cents.
Apple is rumored to make a big cloud push this year, and the release of iOS 5 may bring this type of functionality to the native Notes and Voice Memos apps. We shall see. For now, try the two solutions above. Both Plaintext and Dropvox work on the iPad as well.