The sign of a great app? It does what it sets out to do, does it reliably and efficiently, and looks great while doing it.
When news of a major update to the iOS app Quotebook appeared in my Twitter feed recently, it made me realise what a great app Quotebook is. Why? Because it fits all the above criteria, and made me immediately think “an update, that’s always most welcome, but it didn’t really need one”. Further, though I was happy to retweet this news noting it was one of my “favourite apps”, I could not recall specifically the last time I had used it. Oh, it will never be deleted, and contains some of my favourite quotes, however again the sign of a great app – it is there for a purpose, and there when I need it.
What initially drew me to Quotebook (probably a couple of years ago now) was the specificity of it’s purpose. Sure, I could have saved some quotes in a notebook or with a tag in Evernote; kept them as text files in Dropbox or Drafts; or even tabled them in a spreadsheet, which I have also done in the dim distant past. Quotebook seemed like the perfect solution to keep these pieces of text together with their author and source if necessary.
I admit, at times specificity in an app can be limiting, however in this case it is spot on. Look at what you need after all: the quote; the attribution for the author or speaker; the source; and tags to group quotes should you desire. Add a great looking interface and seamless syncing between my iPad and iPhone, and there you have it – a favourite app. Remember, that was before the update.
Quotebook 3 is our biggest release ever. We’ve completely redesigned and rewritten the app, making it easier than ever to collect your favourite quotes and give them context and personality.
- Fully rewritten iCloud syncing
- Add images and descriptions to authors and sources
- Information about your authors and sources is automatically downloaded from Wikipedia
- Auto-complete authors, sources, and tags from within the app, your contacts, and your music library
- Import quotes from your Tumblr posts and Facebook profile
- Tap into any author or source from the quotes screen to see more quotes from them
- Discover and save random quotes from the app’s main screen
- Share quotes to Tweetbot, Tumblr, and Day One
- Improved Auto-Detection of quotes on your clipboard (including from iBooks)
- x-callback-url support for the Quotebook URL scheme so other apps can add quotes seamlessly
- Simplified settings
As you can see from the above list, the update is indeed a big one. I must admit the most pleasing thing I have found in using Quotebook 3 in the couple of days since the update is the fact that it works equally as reliably and consistently as the previous version, but is faster, looks better, and I agree, has a little more personality, to quote the developer. Although I guess consistent and reliable only gets you so far, as (searches Quotebook):
“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
— Oscar Wilde
See – there when I need it, just like I said.
Probably my favourite aspects of the update include the complete overhaul of the user interface, which is elegantly minimal; direct sharing to Tweetbot and Day One through the standard sharesheet; the ability to see information and other quotes from an author, or the information popover from the source (see screenshot below); also, the functionality of the clipboard auto-detection seems to have improved. A nice touch is also the ability to save random quotes now appearing on your main screen.
Quotebook 3 is a beautiful, yet highly functional app which appears to be in for the long haul. Lickability have added enough bells and whistles with the new update to please many a power user, however have repackaged and improved the robust and delightful features that worked elegantly and efficiently all along.
Developers say many things in press releases, however on this point from Lickability I most certainly concur:
Lickability has been and will always be concerned with all the small details that make apps great.
Must save that quote somewhere…
Also be sure to check out the review of Quotebook 3 by Federico Viticci at Macstories.
Quotebook 3 is available on the App Store for AUD$6.99, and is a universal app for both iPad and iPhone.Follow @petedenison