Notepad DX Review


When you initially think about PlayStation Mobile, without looking at the actual store, you think about Mobile games that are playable on the PlayStation Vita.  That makes sense, right?  The PlayStation brand has always been associated with games, particularly game consoles, savor the actual game that has the title within it, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.  So, when PlayStation Mobile comes to mind, most people think of games.

However, games are not the only form of media on PlayStation Mobile.  Take a few minutes to pull up the store and take a look at everything that’s actually in the store.  There are a lot of games, sure, but there are also apps, something very big in the Mobile market.  In fact, everything you use on the PS Vita is converted into an app.  Even games like Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Gex: Enter the Gecko.  Apps are rising, and they are especially rising in number on PlayStation Mobile.

One kind of app that most Mobile users need is an app to jot down notes.  Something to create notes with to save on the system so they can go back to it later on and remind themselves of it.  Or, they may just need a reference.  Thanks to PlayStation Mobile, there are a few note-taking apps available on the Vita.  Today, we will cover one such title.  Here is our official review of the PlayStation Mobile app, Notepad DX.

Functionality

The purpose of a note-taking app is pretty simple to think about.  You use an app like this to, well, take notes.  The goal of an app like this is to be capable of creating notes, saving them, deleting them, or editing them.  Generally, when I open up a note-taking app, I just want to be able to jot something down quickly and save it for later, so I don’t forget.  Notepad DX does this, to an extent.

When you open up Notepad DX, you have a few options on what you can do.  You can create new notes, open existing notes, delete existing notes, or Develop, which links to the developer’s web site.  There isn’t a huge amount of things to do, but with an app like this, there doesn’t need to be.

When creating a new note, you are taken to a blank white screen, where the note can be written, edited, or saved.  If you just open the app to create a new note right away, however, you don’t need to select the New button on the screen.  When the app opens, it defaults to a new note, so all you need to do is tap the screen to bring up the on-screen keyboard and begin typing your note.  From there, you can edit the text, add to it, save it, lock it (preventing from changes being saved until it is unlocked) or delete it.

When saving a note, there are two options.  The first is a button with an image of a Floppy Disk, which saves a previously-created note.  There is also a button that save the word “Save” on it, which saves it as a new note.  Think of Save as the “Save As…” option in this.  This takes you to a screen where you can set a name for the note, as well as putting a password on it to keep unwanted guests from accessing the note.  You can also put notes in different pre-made folders within the app’s data.  There are several folders you can choose from and can organize them, if you plan on making several notes inside the app, or more.

Opening an existing note brings you to a similar screen, showing file names, folder names, as well as the options to either open or delete the currently-selected note, which is selected through a drop-down menu.

Other than all of this, there’s not too much you can do with the app.  It does what it needs to, at the least.

Interface

The interface of this app is pretty simple and basic, as a note-taking app needs to be.  When you first open it, all of the buttons are across the bottom of the screen.  They are, in order, New, Open, Save, Lock, Save (Floppy Disk), and Develop.  The buttons respond pretty quickly to touch input.  There are also buttons on the Open Note or Save Note screen.  Each of the buttons is rectangular in size and distinguished from the rest of the screen.

Actually typing in notes runs a little differently than note-taking apps on other Mobile systems.  The Vita’s onscreen keyboard is use for this and, just like using it in a game to name someone or something, it takes you to a different screen, only showing the keyboard and a line of text you are creating.  This is not optimal for any heavy writing, but for single lines, it works.

When opening or saving an app, you have different buttons for choosing notes and folders.  When you would like to select something different than what it there by default, you tap on a small arrow and it brings up a drop-down menu.  From there, you can swipe to cycle through the different files and folders until you find the one you want to use.

All in all, it’s a pretty basic interface for a pretty basic application.

Performance

This is a big hitter for any app, especially a PlayStation Mobile app.  Functionality is great for anything, but it’s of little use if the app doesn’t do it very well.  Load Times, response time, and more are things that anyone looking into downloading an app needs to know.  This especially important with PlayStation Mobile.  Unlike iOS or Android, these apps don’t come to you for Free.  They have prices attached to them.

Loading the application is decent, but not great.  Each time we loaded up the app on our PlayStation Vita, it took about 10-12 seconds for it to load up the interface.  This is nowhere near optimal performance for an app, especially compared to apps on iOS and Android, but this isn’t bad for PlayStation Mobile.  There are loading issues with all PS Mobile apps on the Vita.  Sola Weather, which was the first app we reviewed, took a whopping 25-30 seconds to load.  So, compared to that, these load times are great.

Actual writing of each note isn’t great, but that’s mostly because of how the Vita’s keyboard is set up.  Going to a different screen when writing notes can be a big pain and annoyance, because you don’t see it on the template as you’re writing it, and you have to go back to that screen if you want to make edits.  It adds some steps to the process that you don’t have to take with other Mobile systems.  That is a downer.

Another big downer for me was the fact that you can’t do anything external with the notes.  Once you write the notes, they’re just there in the application.  You can open, edit, or delete them.  There are no options to copy the note into an email, Facebook, Livetweet, or anything of that sort.  That was a very unfortunate part of the app.  Since you cannot copy text in the app, you can’t even copy it and switch to the Mail application to send it in an email.  It’s for personal use only.

All in all, the functionality has much to be improved on.

Overall

Notepad DX isn’t a bad attempt for making a note-taking app for the PlayStation Vita.  If you want to write quick notes, it can get the job done.  However, a lack of an email option, copy and paste option, a still decent load time, and making you do extra steps, it is nowhere near top-of-the-line material.  The developer needs to make a lot of improvements to this before it will soar as one of the top apps of PlayStation Mobile.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Notepad DX a 4.5/10.  

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