Note taking applications for Android are not hard to find. A search of the Android market returns “at least 1000 results”.
So when reader Rich sent a link to an Ubuntu One-syncing notes app called ‘Chalk’ I hoped it was a little different.
Chalk for Android syncs notes via your Ubuntu One account. This includes both retrieving existing notes created by Tomboy and uploading new notes. And, unlike rival Ubuntu One syncing app Tomdroid, Chalk allows you edit existing Tomboy notes directly on your phone or tablet.
The interface has been designed to be purposefully clean and simple. You won’t find tool bars or extensive options for formatting just white space for taking notes. Basic to some, welcome to others.
This simplicity is carried over to the “home” screen that lists your notes. There are fancy check boxes or tags to fiddle around with beside notes, and creating a new note is as simple as hitting the top-right hand button.
Now onto the negatives.
Chalk is currently in Beta and it shows. The number of force-close’s I encountered when saving notes, trying to authenticate with Ubuntu One and refresh were all too frequent. The ‘good’ part is that, whilst crashing on saving a note, notes did still save. If that hadn’t have been the case I would not be writing this review just yet.
In all Chalk is promising. I like its utterly basic approach. There are no check-boxes, timers, tags or other clutter just space for writing notes. The application ‘feels’ snappy in use, and is fully responsive on both my mildly underpowered ZTE Blade as well as my Tegra 2 tablet.
I’m not going to uninstall Chalk, but i’m probably not going to use it for jotting down anything too serious either. Thanks to its open-source-ness there’s every chance bugs will be overcome in no-time and a stellar little application shall emerge.
So I’m going to be keeping a hopeful eye on it. Expect updates here on OMG! Ubuntu! as and when they arrive.
Chalk | Android Market (app no longer available)