Apps

5 best note-taking apps for Android and iOS

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There are plenty of ways to take notes. You could do it the traditional way with a notebook and pen, or something out of the ordinary like jotting down on a napkin during lunch. Or, better yet, use your smartphone!

Here are some of the best note-taking apps available on both Android and iOS.

Evernote

Evernote is perhaps the most popular digital notebook. Since I started embracing paperless ways of taking notes, Evernote has always been helpful. It’s simplistic yet has powerful features that you can explore. You can add images, audio, and files to your notes; and collate them to be part of a categorized notebook.

The basic features of Evernote are available for free, but you can go for the Plus plan (US$ 34.99/year) if you want to get hold of additional features like email integrations, offline notebook access, and more.

Download: Android, iOS

Microsoft OneNote

If you want your digital notebook to be as flexible as real paper, Microsoft OneNote is the one for you. There’s a bit of a learning curve for OneNote unlike most note-taking apps, especially with the interface. If there’s something unique about this, it’s the ability to type and doodle in the middle of the page — perfect for pen input. You can also add attachments, to-do lists, audio, and even videos.

The app is available for free on mobile devices. A full desktop version of OneNote is also available, but it requires a subscription for Office 365.

Download: Android, iOS

Google Keep

Google Keep is a favorite, not just for me but for the whole GadgetMatch team. While the app looks like basic sticky-note software, its minimalist look is what makes it an excellent app. One can enjoy Keep to jot down ideas, checklists, and just about anything. Since this is a Google product, anything written here is automatically backed up to your account, making it available on virtually any platform.

Like with other Google apps, Keep is free and uses your Google account for syncing.

Download: Android, iOS

Simplenote

If you want something really simple, check out Simplenote. True to its name, it offers a clean and straightforward interface for typing. It’s white and clutter-free without the unnecessary visual elements that could distract you. While it doesn’t offer attachments (i.e., images, audio clips), it offers online syncing, peer collaboration, and a search function.

It’s pretty obvious that Simplenote is not meant to replace the likes of Evernote, but it’s a free app that you can use as an alternative.

Download: Android, iOS

Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is the most visually pleasing note-taking app on this list. Rather than using side bars and text menus, Notebook is in favor of — well — notebooks. There are preset designs, or you could customize your own art for the covers of the notebooks. Once inside the notebooks, things become familiar with cards and featured images. Of course, everything is synced to the cloud.

Another great aspect of Zoho Notebook is that it’s free and doesn’t rely on ads or premium upgrades.

Download: Android, iOS

SEE MORE: 5 essential tips for buying a new phone

Apps

Digimon ReArise: A new Digimon mobile game!

It comes with an exclusive Digimon!

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Bandai Namco Entertainment just posted a teaser video for its new and upcoming Digimon ReArise mobile game. The text in the video reads, “Here is the story where your Digimon becomes a reality.”

The teaser doesn’t say much but Digimon ReArise will be a free-to-play mobile game where you’ll be working closely with a Digimon to battle against “Spiral,” — a mysterious and unexplained power. The development team describes the game as both “the adventure story of tamers and their Digimon” and “a game for looking after and training Digimon at any time.”

On top of all that, Bandai Namco finally revealed the exclusive starter Digimon you meet in the game. Created by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, the new Digimon is named Erismon (エリスモン). He’ll be the main focus and will be your main companion in the game. Erismon is apparently an electric hedgehog whose attacks shoot out static needles from his back.

Digimon ReArise will be out this year in Japan. While this game is in the works, you can give Digimon Links a try. Digimon Links was launched in Japan in March 2016 and in English last October.

SEE ALSO: Sky: A new jaw-dropping mobile game coming out soon!

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Apps

Spotify plans to create their own smart speaker

Is this the Apple HomePod killer?

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As smart speakers emerge from all sides, Spotify is no longer satisfied with being “just” a streaming app. New job listings confirm that the music giant is working on its own device for the future.

Based on a new job opening recently posted on its site, Spotify is looking for an “Operations Manager — Hardware Product.” The listing states that “Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products.”

Image source: Spotify Jobs

Besides an Operations Manager, the company is also looking for a Senior Project Manager and Project Manager on the same team. All three openings confirm that dedicated Spotify hardware is in the works.

Without its own hardware, the music-streaming app relies on third-party devices to distribute its services. This business model has been Spotify’s go-to since its inception. To its credit, this model works. Spotify still rules the music-streaming food chain atop competitors like Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music.

However, as competing brands develop their own smart speakers, the need for a Spotify-exclusive device gradually turns into a do-or-die situation. Some smart speakers today don’t even offer Spotify as a default player. If Spotify hopes to survive into the future, they have to create their own hardware brand where they don’t have to play second fiddle to the competition.

As of now, the job listings are still open. They also clarify that Spotify is still in the process of creating the team. Given that it’s still in its infancy, this mystery device remains unknown. Besides a smart speaker, it could even be a wearable. For sure, it’ll still be a while before we even get a whiff of what Spotify is cooking.

For what it’s worth, Spotify offers information that the mystery device “will impact the way the world experiences music.”

SEE ALSO: 5 steps to making the perfect Spotify playlist

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Apps

Uber plans to sell Southeast Asian arm to Grab

In exchange for Grab’s stakes

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A massive deal is brewing in Southeast Asia. After a rocky 2017, Uber is gearing up to sell its Southeast Asia operations to Singapore’s Grab.

Despite posting a whopping US$ 7.5 billion in sales last year, Uber reported an even more surprising US$ 4.5 billion in losses. Uber’s worldwide demand couldn’t offset the costs that it incurred throughout the previous year.

This makes the rumored deal between the two ride-sharing apps a timely one. Further, reports indicate that Uber is also preparing for an eventual IPO sometime next year.

Should it happen, Uber will receive a substantial stake in Grab’s company. Currently, Uber hasn’t finalized the deal yet. Reports don’t include a timeline on when (or if) this deal will conclude.

The strategic move works in favor of Uber as a business. However, it remains unclear how this will affect commuters.

Southeast Asian commuters heavily prefer the convenience of Uber and Grab, compared to the bustle of traditional public transportation. The two apps share similar popularity ratings across the region.

For its popularity, Uber is pummeled with more controversies than Grab. The earlier has already suffered from multiple cases of drivers raping passengers, taxi protests, and a recent attempt to stifle autonomous driving. The company’s long-standing CEO Travis Kalanick also resigned last year.

Despite the mounting scandals, Uber remains one of the world’s preferred ride-sharing service. Regardless of whether the proposed sale will push through, Uber continues to be a watchword in today’s transportation economy.

SEE ALSO: Five Uber app alternatives for your daily commute

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