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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Atlanta, GA

    migrating Palm notes/memos to Android

    I ran my life on the Palm platform from late 2001 to early 2010, and have now completed my migration to the Android platform. What was critical to me was that I'd be able to do the three core functions (calendar, contacts, memos) as well on the Android platform as I had been doing on the Palm platform for nearly a decade.

    The calendar and contacts migration went fine. Using Google Calendar and GMail on the desktop is not as slick as the Palm Desktop app, but it's good enough and slowly getting better.

    But the notes/memos situation on Android flat out sucked. There is no solution that part of the base Google Android system, and all of the third party solutions fail miserably in some way. Most of them had all sorts of shiny multimedia and social networking (i.e. sharing) features but Oh My God would you please just handle plain text properly?! No.

    After cutting over everything else in January, I was stuck with my memos still being in the Palm world, and I left it like that for 6 months. Finally a few weeks ago I bit the bullet, did the research, evaluated the competition, and threw in with one of the third party offerings:

    *Snaptic's AK Notepad is the "good enough" replacement for Palm memos.*

    Here is what I was looking for in a memo app on Android, and really I was just itemizing the decade-old Palm feature set:

    - add and edit notes on mobile device
    - add and edit notes on web (desktop)
    - sync between the two
    - just need plain text, don't even need formatting
    - offline use / cache on mobile device
    - 4000 characters minimum
    - display title (or first line of memo text) in a list of memos
    - sorting by title (or first line of memo text)
    and after a bit more eval, I found some apps didn't do this:
    - ability to go straight to the notes listing without searching
    - notes listing just shows one line (i.e. title) (some apps show multiple lines or even the whole note! no title listing!)

    In doing my initial survey of the available apps, here's what I found:

    - AK Notepad: dead product, developer hired by Snaptic
    - Astrid: v3 just released, a bit messy, will hold off on evaluating
    - ColorNote: no Google Docs sync
    - EasyNote: no Google Docs sync (some import/export capability?)
    - EverNote: only works if you have a network connection (no offline cache)
    - GDocs Notepad: did have Google Docs sync but now it appears to be broken
    - NoteEverything: no Google Docs sync (only import/export)
    - 3Banana / Snaptic: no sort, bloated listing

    I posted all this in an Android forum, and got some feedback on AK Notepad in particular that it was indeed still active. I found that Snaptic, where the developer was hired off to, was letting him continue to maintain the app. So I tried it out and indeed it is great! It has all the basic features we expect as Palm memo users, plus more.

    You need to set up a (free) Snaptic account -- I wish it was Google Docs, but at least it supports Google OpenID. The whole thing supports all of the minimum requirements I laid out earlier. The only thing I've got to complain about is the notes listing at snaptic.com -- instead of a list of notes by title (or first line), it has all of the text dumped out, in one huge long list. A list of titles would be far easier to scroll through. (the mobile app does have the title listing) Well, at least typing in some search text is less painful on the desktop.

    There may be a way to migrate memos, but I only had 50 or 60 or so, so I just copied and pasted them in. It was weird to see what old (and nearly useless) stuff I had in my memos ...

    Note that Snaptic has TWO memo-like offerings for Android, which they compare here: https://snaptic.com/blog/2010/07/ak-...es-on-android/

    So, there you go. Hopefully this helps someone.

    P.S. There doesn't seem to be a general Android OS/Apps forum here, but if there this post should get mentioned there.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Thanks for the homework. I too have been running my life on a Palmphone for ages (since the Kyocera) and for a long time on Palmpdas (since Palm Pilot during the USRobotics era)

    I've been fighting to keep my current one (a centro) as I hate to migrate all the data (You'd have thought WebOS would have come up with something by now, but after patiently waiting 1.5 years, it looks like I'm going Android too.

    Contacts will be a bite, since I have tons of customer data in custom fields in teh contact list, but I can maybe handle it in google contacts (though the fields may be botched, since palmos exports in columns, but home/email/work/main could be tied to any field). I'm afraid I'll end up with swapped mobile vs home vs work numbers, vs email, but dn't see much choice.

    MEMOS are what are killing me too. I have >10 years of technical data in thousands of notes. I've got it flat filed into 15 dumb text dumps in Evernote now (good on the desktop where you DO have a local copy, but crappy when not cloud connected)

    I'm going to try your AK solution, though I'm a bit scared to get stuck in another proprietary or dead end solution. Worth a try though, as I'm desperate.


    Best writeup I've seen so far. I'm trying to clean up my palmdata now before export to google, and should be on Android by the new year. Sure going to miss Palm.

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