Nebulous Notes Review
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Nebulous Notes Review

Our Review by Kyle Flanigan on January 3rd, 2011
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FOCUSED
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Nebulous Notes is a Dropbox-supporting text inputter that places emphasis on minimalism and provides themes for both writers and coders.

Developer: Nuclear Elements, Inc.
Price: $1.99
Version: 4.3

Design Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Features Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Integration Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Nebulous Notes is, in its developers Nuclear Elements' words, "your everyday, everything text editor." This is quite an accolade of adjectives, but a closer look reveals that it's not far from the truth. In short, Nebelous is a Dropbox-supporting, multi-style text inputter, built with minimalism in mind and a variety of options in the back end, allowing you to craft your document to your own need while focusing on the document itself. It also doubles up as an on-the-go code creator (more on this later). We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the presentation of a document, rather than its actual quality, but Nebulous' minimalist style ensures quality is at the forefront. It is also a welcome change.

Starting with style, the application offers four main themes: default (white background, Helvetica font), focused writer (tinged background, Georgia font), Matrix Coder (black background, code-green Monaco font) and Dream Journaler (dark background, Helvetica-bold font). Fonts can be chosen manually, with fourteen to choose from, five of which are monospaced - ideal for coding but also doubles up as a nice style. In addition, six size options ranging from 14-50 exist, as well as five colours for text / background if none of the themes tailor your tastes. Brightness can be adjusted in-app, and an Auto-correction feature (think can be turned on/off at all.

Nebulous prides itself in a number of features not seen in other text editors, such as built-in macros like $day and $date and even $sel, where $sel is text that you have selected. Macros save time and the application supports macro creation. Furthermore, the keyboard has been tuned to include an extra line of popular buttons, meaning you don't have to go through the .?123 and #+= levels that the Apple keyboard includes. Such popular buttons include equals, plus, percentage and chevrons (angle brackets for coding). There's a tab key in there too. The "macro toolbar" that exists on top of the keyboard is customizable, meaning you can choose what goes there.

Overall, Nebulous is impressive in terms of how much it has to offer in relation to the minimalist style that it employs. With the tap of a button you can be transformed into a Writeroom-style, full-screen mode. However, this minimalism does take some getting used to and means that you'll be tapping once more than you normally would for things like settings. I feel that the minimalism has perhaps gone too far - the lack of fully customizable colours and font sizes, for example, as well as the necessity to tap into menus to access such settings, is at times frustrating. The lack of importing from (focus is on DropBox) is disappointing.

In concluding, Nebulous is very much touch-and-go dependent on one's tastes. For some, it is the level of minimalism that is demanded, for others it is a step too far. On-the-go coders will be pleased with the application, but cannot save or export in any coding formats. But in terms of actual writing, Nebulous is beautiful and focused. And that is what this application is all about.

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iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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