Feb
26
2013

Notesy 2.3

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Notesy23

I've always liked Notesy. When I compared my favorite text editors for iOS last year, I called it the app “for everyone” that was able to meet all the common requirements of a Dropbox-enabled, Markdown-ready text editor for the iPhone and iPad.

Giant Yak Software took over Notesy's development a few months ago, and today they released version 2.3 of the app.

Among various improvements, version 2.3 adds an extra keyboard row with various characters to speed up Markdown text editing. While this is a good implementation, I'm surprised it doesn't support automatic continuation for unordered and ordered lists. Markdown rendering has been updated, but it still doesn't support footnotes with the MultiMarkdown syntax. Dropbox sync has been updated to take advantage of the new SDK, and while Notesy has always been fast and reliable at syncing notes and detecting conflicts, the new version seemed even faster and more stable to me.

The Notesy URL scheme – something I have demonstrated in the past on MacStories – has received some interesting additions. You can now create a new empty note with the URL scheme by using the append action with an empty text parameter; like before, you can append to a specific file by using the name parameter.

NotesyURL

For my workflow, I created a Launch Center Pro action that creates a new note with the text passed by the keyboard prompt.1 In Launch Center Pro, the action looks like this:

notesy://x-callback-url/append?text=[prompt]

Because Notesy also supports x-callback-url, we can put together an action that takes something you copied from Google Chrome, appends it, and takes you back to Chrome:

notesy://x-callback-url/append?path=&name=Scratchpad&text=[clipboard]&x-success=googlechrome%3A%2F%2F

More reliable Dropbox sync means I can also use the open action and worry less about the creation of conflicted copies.2 In Launch Center Pro, I use this to open my Scratchpad file:

notesy://x-callback-url/open?path=&name=Scratchpad

If you open a file with the URL scheme, Notesy will also check if it's displaying the latest version of the file, and if it's not it'll update it in less than 2 seconds.

Notesy already supported the conversion of Markdown to HTML in the URL scheme (as I demoed in my Pythonista review), but it also forced you to pass along text with a custom header provided in the app. Now you can omit the header by using an empty &header= parameter, but body and head HTML tags will still be used. Still, you can add this action to Launch Center Pro to convert Markdown text in your clipboard to HTML and send it to Poster to create a new post with the converted text:

notesy://x-callback-url/render-markdown?text=[clipboard]&output-param=text&x-success=posterapp%3A%2F%2F%2Fcreate%3Ftext%3D&header=

Notesy 2.3 is a nice update and I'm glad the app is still being developed with the addition of powerful new features. You can find Notesy on the App Store.


  1. If you append the same string twice, the first line of the text will be used as the title, therefore not creating a new note, but appending the second string to the first note you created. You can try this by running the first Launch Center Pro action twice in a row, using the same text. 

  2. Unfortunately, appending text to a note that was updated on another device after Notesy was closed will still result in the creation of a conflicted copy, rather than a “smart” update of the file before appending text. Ideally, triggering append via the URL scheme should also check if the file has been updated before actually appending anything. Perhaps it could be done with a refreshflag before the append action. And yes, I have tried chaining Notesy to itself with x-callback-url, but it's not working for me. 

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Tags:URL Scheme