Quotebook is an app that came to me via the Genius suggestions in my newly updated iPad’s App Store. It’s an app designed for clipping and storing favorite quotes for future reference. Unlike other iOS quote apps, it does not come with a library of quotes pre-installed. You are meant to input your own via typing directly into a new record, or by coping and pasting from Twitter, Safari, iBooks or some other source.
I had previously been using an epub file to store quotes and clips from books I was reading. It had definitely improved my reading; I liked being able to save key passages and reference them later, and it was easy to transfer the file via Dropbox to whatever device I had handy. But it had limitations, too. Since I required a proper editing program (and hence, my home computer) I had to save up the work until I happened to be at my desk. And it was a somewhat labor-intensive process to key everything in, format it just so, and convert it in Calibre for easy access. Additionally, it lacked the ability to filter, search or resort the quotes once they were in there. Quotebook promised to solve these problems for me.
The app is easy to use. You can simply press the ‘plus’ button to add a new entry, and type in quotes directly. But where this app really shines is in its paste capability. If you have copied any text to your memory before you open the app, it prompts you to start a quote with it. Then all you have to do is type in the author and source, and you’re good to go. I couldn’t get it working with the Kindle app, but it worked like a charm with iBooks. I used Dropbox to import my old quote file, then started merrily copying away. In about an hour, I had everything in there, and I could go through and tag to my heart’s content.
Best of all, this universal app offers syncing via iCloud, so when I go back to my iPod Touch, I can have everything ready to go—and then keep things seamlessly updated between them. I can add a quote on the fly when I read at bedtime, then see it later on my iPad at work. I love cloud syncing! The app also has options for sharing via email, text message or copy/paste for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and so on.
There are some other little frills too. If you press the arrow beside an author’s name while in the edit window, you get a pop-up Wikipedia on that person and an interface to find other quotes by that author. You can also rate the quotes and sort or tag them.
I wish it had an option to dump everything into a Goole Docs file, or to synchronize with Dropbox or Google Drive. I also found that its auto-complete was a little glitchy. It was hard to get the app’s suggestions to stick when I agreed with them.
These are small quibbles though. I like being freed from the shackles of editing at my desk. I can add quotes on the fly, and if I use iBooks, even paste them in without further typing. I can keep it all with me on both iPad and Little Junior. And I can paste and keep quotes from blogs, Facebook and web sources too. All in all, it’s a pretty sweet app and was worth the $2.99 I paid for it.