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Every notes app worth its salt needs to strike a balance between form and function, combining speed, effortless navigation, and easy organization into a simple tool that gets out of our way as we work. UpWord Notes doesn't just hit all of these marks — it does so in such an elegant way, we can't help but wonder if we've finally found the perfect app for quick note taking.
Built exclusively for iOS 7, UpWord embraces much of what makes Apple's operating system superior, from its smart gesture-based navigation to its intuitive commands. Notes are created by pressing the plus symbol at the bottom of the screen, but you can set it to automatically start a new one each time you open the app — just one of the many personal touches that leaves a strong impression.
Every aspect of UpWord is extremely well thought-out, but its power is in its versatility. Options and customization are plentiful, and while the background themes are somewhat limited, robust font settings and sorting parameters give you excellent control over the interface. Intuitive gestures are built into nearly every action, including some very clever ones within the text itself; for example, a quick swipe to the right will turn a note into a list that can just as easily be bulleted, prioritized, or cleared. We particularly like the ability to tap and hold the new note button to create folders, and little details like word count and one-tap reminders make it feel more powerful than the countless other note-takers we've used.
With one main screen for all of your notes, organization is paramount in UpWords, but we were initially confused about folder hierarchy. Since the plus button handles creation across all screens (for both top level and sub-folders), you need to be mindful of where you are when you tap it. And Dropbox syncing is seamless and tidy, but we’d like to see iCloud support built into later versions — especially if there's an iPad companion app in the works.
The bottom line. UpWord Note’s simple, stunning approach to note-taking raises the bar for all others in its class.
(Editor's Note: A previous version of the review incorrectly noted that sub-folders were not available. We've updated the article to amend that section.)
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later
Simple, elegant interface. Excellent use of gestures. Good organization. Nice customization options.
Lacks iCloud support. Background themes are somewhat limited.