The JustNotepad App for android phones is exactly that-just a notepad. Sure there are a few bells and whistles thrown in-the option to doodle, (the ability to doodle over your already written notes is particularly satisfying), a user friendly “Copy-Paste” system that any Microsoft Word user will figure out in a second -but mainly, it is just a simple notepad. Not sure that the app “remediates writing” the way parchment replaced papyrus, or the word processor replaced the keyboard( a la Bolter) but it does have some neat features. Devos and Porter, the authors of an ingenious piece on the influence of Napster on the writing world, take a similar stance on how new technologies often remediate an old one. The whole time I was using JustNotepad I couldn’t help but hear all those self-important writers in my head who say “I carry a notebook with me evreywhere I go.” I often wonder about these people who I see with actual notebooks. Not too sound snide, but with a smartphone, who actually needs that?
An excellent thing about the app is that it saves automatically, Google Docs style. Scribble something on your notepad and you won’t have to worry about it getting lost because you forgot to press the save button. That’s a neat feature-but probably a better feature of the app is that it’s free. A few of the writing apps I’ve looked into came with a price tag and I can’t imagine any of them being worth it. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d just as soon not write a novel on my smartphone. At least until the technology gets a bit better, I can’t imagine writing anything that long with just my thumbs. For the moment, I’d ignore those other high priced writing apps unless you think it’s really worth it. I mean, if you consider yourself a writer, do you really need to pay. $1.99 for a writing app to generate ideas for you? For it’s price tag of $0.00, you can’t beat just Notepad for it’s usability-especially if you are like me, and save your real writing for a desktop (or laptop). For to do lists, or grocery lists, the app is perfect.