Squarespace Note is a new iOS app from the company behind the web hosting and blogging platform Squarespace. It has very little to do with its self-named service, however, and is instead a minimalist note-taking app with an emphasis on sharing content to other services.
Squarespace Note is designed to allow its users to quickly make text-based notes using a minimalist interface. Upon starting the app for the first time, users are shown a brief tutorial demonstrating how the app works, and are then thrown straight into the app’s main screen, which is simply a blank page and a keyboard. Users may type as much as they like into the app and then swipe up on the screen to “tear off” the note and share it to any services they have set up.
The app supports several different services, which may be accessed by swiping from right to left on the screen. Users may opt to share their notes with their Squarespace site if they have one along with email, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and Evernote accounts. The Twitter and Facebook features use iOS 5 and 6’s built-in functionality respectively, Dropbox uses the external iOS Dropbox app to authorize Squarespace Note’s access if it is installed, and Evernote must be logged into via an in-app browser. Additional services may be added by giving them a name and providing an email address to send notes to — in this way, the app can be used to update sites like WordPress and Tumblr using their respective “post by email” facilities.
The ability to email from Squarespace Note does not feature any security — simply typing in the address that the user would like the notes sent to is enough. This does, unfortunately, leave this facility somewhat open to abuse by unscrupulous users, since there is no indication who the note has come from when it arrives in one’s inbox — the “From” address is simply “email@example.com” rather than the user’s own email address from their device. In other words, there is nothing to stop a user from putting in someone else’s email address and then using the service to send unsolicited spam — and the fact that it is possible to add additional “services” (i.e. email addresses) means that it is even possible for it to be used for batch emails. There are obviously more efficient ways for spammers to do their job, but it is an aspect of the app that is perhaps worth noting.
Notes may be selectively shared to any of the services the user has set up. Swiping from right to left to bring up the services screen allows the user to activate or deactivate services simply by tapping them, and then swiping back and “tearing off” the note immediately shares it. It would have been good to see some “at a glance” icons on the note composition screen depicting which services are currently active rather than having to swipe onto a separate screen to do so, but the gestural controls are relatively quick, so this is a minor issue.
Squarespace Note does what it sets out to do, which is to provide a simple text-based “scratch pad” for users to jot down thoughts and quickly share them to other services. It is clear about this in its description on the App Store. It is not designed to be a note organization app in and of itself — it simply keeps a chronological “history” list of notes that have previously been shared rather than allowing for filing and categorization — but as a replacement for jotting things down on a pad of paper quickly, it does its job well. Those expecting another Evernote, however, will be disappointed — and a few negative App Store reviews from users who apparently didn’t read the description in detail are reflecting that fact.
Squarespace Note is not currently ranked on the App Store leaderboards at the time of writing, but can be found in the “New” section of the App Store’s “Productivity” category. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.