Vesper – minimalist note taking app comes to iPad

We have come such a long way from the original iPhone’s yellow Notes app with its very yellow pages and Comic Sans font. Did we mention yellow? Today’s Vesper, from Q Branch, does the same job — yet comes from the opposite end of the design spectrum with a plain, tasteful look and typography control. It’s also much faster than Notes ever was, and its syncing of individual notes is quicker than Evernote’s.

Now on both iPhone and iPad, what Vesper does is offer you a quick place to write text. It’s intended for short snippets, but you could do anything — from To Do lists to articles and chapters. Open it up, tap a button to get a new document, and start typing. You can also add photographs, and the app encourages you to pop tags in too. There are no predefined tags, it’s entirely your choice whether you use them at all, and what you call them when you do. Mark this note as being Work and that one as Home. Getting Things Done fans could add a tag they call Someday/Maybe, and then never look at it again.

Hands On: Vesper 2.005 (iOS) – William Gallagher, MacNN (18 March 2015)

Read the full piece, especially as I spent ages writing it. MacNN reviews tend to start from the basis of who-is-this-software-useful-to and I really like that. There’s no attitude beyond whether it does what it says and whether there are better alternatives.

That’s true even when there’s no especially logical reason for why an alternative is superior. This review is an example of exactly that. For Vesper is very, very good and you will certainly like it and probably love it if you were to buy it for your iPhone and iPad. Yet I simply prefer an alternative called Drafts 4. I’m writing this to you in Drafts 4; it has become my automatic place to write anything when I’m on my iPad.

I could point to features it has that Vesper doesn’t – but then I could point to features Vesper has that Drafts don’t. Some of which, such as Vesper’s excellent automatic syncing between iPad and iPhone, I would like Drafts to have.

There is a risk that you can say this stuff – X software is great but I prefer Y so there – and either be irritatingly obstructing your reader or just being so wishy-washy that you’re no use to anyone. I tend toward the wishy-washy, I’m afraid. But software is immensely, just immensely more personal than technical websites and journalists admit so I love that MacNN counts the feel of an app as being as relevant to mention as its feature list.

But also, Vesper is excellent. Go read the full pieceand see me enthuse.

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