I desperately want a good note-taking app for Android. Sure, we have Evernote, Google Keep, and a smattering of half-decent, usable handwriting apps. What we don’t have though, is a good one. I mean a really good one. But what does a really good note-taking app look like? Well, Papyrus (free; plus) gets close.
Here on this blog, I’ve certainly offered my share of recommendations for handwriting apps, including my current favorite, Quill. I found Papyrus a few days ago from a “Play Picks” suggestion on Google Play.
I knew one free look wouldn’t hurt, and I’m glad I did.
Papyrus functions like many of the other handwriting simulation apps, giving you the option of organizing the notes into notebooks, and presenting a sheet of paper to jot down notes.
Papyrus features a very thorough toolbar with plenty of easy-to-understand options.
Many of these types of apps fail because of their inability to translate the touch to actual text very well. Papyrus bridges the gaps, and makes note-taking very convenient and nearly mistake free.
You can draw shapes, select text, and, if you have an “active pen” (i.e. S-pen), you can incorporate some special controls for Papyrus.
Papyrus also enables “page selection,” which I haven’t seen in any other Android handwriting app. This useful setting allows you to choose your default page size, rather than the designer’s selection.
The page selection setting is very helpful when you export the document in PDF or as a PNG or JPEG image.
Papyrus also features two additional app add-ons ($2.99 each), which allow you to sync or backup notes to Dropbox or Box.net, and add an enhanced tools packet (“adds a true eraser tool, shape tools, and a text tool”). The cloud upgrade is worth the price, while I haven’t found any worth to purchasing the tools packet.
Papyrus isn’t without some small problems though. For instance, the app doesn’t do a good job of reflowing a note when you switch from landscape to portrait view.
The solution to this problem is to zoom out of the page, it’s just a hassle to perform that action.
One feature Papyrus desperately needs is a full page view with a zoom-in box at the bottom. This could, and should correct this problem:
Even though my tablet screen shows “100%” of the page, which should mean a full (in this case) legal sized page, I’m really only seeing 1/4, or less, of the page. I have to scroll with two fingers in order to reach the remaining portions. I wish Papyrus (and other Android apps) had a zoom box similar to Note Taker HD for iPad. Fortunately, the developer allows you to submit new feature requests for a community vote.
Overall, I’m not sure how I missed this app, but I think Papyrus is an excellent choice for those wanting a great note-taking app on Android. I give Papyrus 4 of 5 stars.