There are so many note-taking tools available these days, especially for Mac and iOS. Many people use Evernote to sync notes across devices, while others might use lighter solutions like TaskPaper. But one Tokyo-based developer recently launched an interesting alternative which emphasizes more granular control over which notes go to which devices. It’s called Snipe.
Snipe is available for both Mac and iOS, and was developed by AppFusion, which I’m told has a presence in both Japan and Singapore. When creating a note – which could include text, images, links, and some meta data – you’re presented with options for which device you would like to send/save to. Snipe’s tagline promises that you’ll never have to email notes to yourself again. And I think that for many people, it will solve that issue. As for the app’s business model, it relies on a paid add-on to support additional devices.
Myself, I tend to prefer a plain text, Dropbox solution like nvALT/Notesy or TaskPaper, because I know my notes are then future proof no matter what happens to the apps that house them. Similarly Evernote, as established as it is, is probably a relatively safe bet too. Here in Japan there is also Sleipnir which proposes an interesting solution to this problem with its Sleipnir Linker app. That service is particularly smart when it comes to handling things like addresses or phone numbers when passed to a mobile device.
I asked Snipe’s creator Ben Dunn about how Snipe differentiates from something like Evernote, and he explained:
Evernote has evolved into an incredibly powerful feature set and I personally continue to be a paying Evernote user for storing documents and notes that I want to keep forever. But I think its too heavy for short-life notes (the type we used to scribble on a post it note and carry around with us) and doesn’t allow sending a note to a specific device which is Snipe’s key feature. That said, for a light user of Evernote, Snipe could definitely be a good alternative.
I think he’s right on this last point. For many users who just want a frictionless go-between to transition information from device to device, Snipe can be very handy. I don’t think it’s going to solve any problems for power users though, because those people have likely already found solutions among the many that exist. But I do think that Snipe can step in to help many new users, because this is a problem that everyone runs into at some time or another – and the app’s proposed solution is very, very clear .
I was also curious to hear Ben’s impressions on being an entrepreneur here in Tokyo. He says that there are certainly many things that can make Tokyo tough, but there are lots of reasons to be excited as well:
It’s expensive, more limited in hiring options (if you require English speakers) and harder to network. But that ignores some of the very real benefits of being able to work in a very large consumer market which is largely ignored (through language) by most new products developed in the West or even conversely to export ideas/product categories from Japan to the rest of the world.
While we’re not yet at that point with Snipe, there are other opportunities that I am looking at that will be very focused on this idea of localizing English focused products and tapping into the Japanese market.
Snipe is a very young product, with lots of room to grow and improve. It’s not the solution that I’ll be using to transfer information across devices (I’m already a little set in my ways), but I’m sure there are many people out there for whom it will work quite well. If you’d like to try it out, you can get it for free for both iOS and Mac.
Snipe will likely need to adjust their app title in the App Store, currently listed as ‘Snipe It’. While the name is fine, for users searching for terms like ‘notes’ or ‘sync’, they will not easily come across Snipe. ↩