Simplenote’s latest update is a good one. While you won’t notice anything obvious, a lot has changed “under the hood.” As Shawn Blanc points out, it is dramatically faster. But, better yet, they’ve added in what are known as a URL scheme which allows it to integrate with other applications. Many will be excited by the tie-in to Launch Center, but this geek is thrilled about Instapaper integration.
How Is This Helpful?
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do a significant amount of reading and writing on my iPhone on the subway and one often informs the other. I’ll be reading and I will want to add my own context to someone’s post. The goal has always been to get the source text into a document as quickly as possible and start writing. In the past, there were a few ways to go about this, but all of them were a little clunky. Now, my reading app of choice, Instapaper makes it seamless to highlight text in Instapaper and share it to a new note in Simplenote along with the title and a link to the original post.
Step 1 – Hightlight Text In Instapaper and Hit Share
Step 2 – Select “Create a Note in Simplenote”
Step 3 – Your Note Is Automatically Created In Simplenote
Step 4 – Name Your Note, Add Any Formatting and Start Writing
This subtle change lets me capture an idea on either my iPhone or iPad, like the post above from Yuvi Zalkow on using Twitter, and lets me begin expanding on it instantly. It also works offline, so it’s ideal for working in circumstances where there is no internet service (a common occurrence not only on the subway, but in many ares of Manhattan thanks to the joys of AT&T). Once I’m back at home or at my office, my work will be synced through nvALT to my other devices.
It’s a tiny bit of pleasure for a heavy user of both Simplenote and Instapaper and should make my contextual writing significantly easier when on-the-go. This is also a trick that should work with any other iOS text editor that includes a URL scheme and has taken the time to coordinate with Instapaper.