Springpad, the virtual notebook that lets you save all your awesome ideas in one big, fluffy cloud, has been pushing hard on mobile lately. Now, Springpad’s always had a vested interest in mobile–their recent 3.0 overhaul rolled out with the web, iOS and Android updates all at once, and the cross-platform integration has ushered in a beautifully unified experience. Following up on a recent iPad update, Springpad for Android has also been tweaked. As curation tools like Fancy and Pinterest delineate their mobile strategies, it’s all the more important for Springpad to stay ahead of the game. Today we’re going to take a deep dive into Springpad for Android, because, well, Springpad and Android both happen to be two of my specialties.
Let’s take a look at what the latest update brings us.
They’ve redesigned their Android homescreen widgets to spice things up. The Springpad app comes with an array of widgets for your phone or tablet – Small for a customizable quick-add menu, a Large widget that includes the quick-add feature plus a preview of your items based on your custom selection, and a List widget, which presents a list view of your custom-filtered items directly from your homescreen. There’s also a new color scheme: black, white and transparent to make it more inline with most Android homescreen themes.
Similar to your in-app notebooks, Springpad’s widget headings now have accent colors that match the content from its corresponding notebook. If you have more than a few notebooks (as I do), the color-coded widget headings are a huge help, and again, unify the Springpad experience across the board.
A word to the wise, it’s best to play around with your Springpad widget configurations, as they’ll appear differently for each Android device. Varying screen sizes and different OEM skins will affect your overall experience, but such is the life of a Fandroid.
Improved Sharing from Other Apps
One of the great things about Android is the ability for apps to, in a sense, talk to each other. Springpad takes full advantage of this, enabling you to add content from various app sources. Better yet, you can edit the title, add descriptions, add tags, set a destination notebook and attach media from the original app or page, when you share from other apps to Springpad. Likewise, you can also attach media to any notebook, creating far more complex springs than a single-image Pinterest pin.
Improved App Security with PINs
As with any cloud service, security is a major factor towards earning consumer trust, especially for mobile apps. Springpad’s added more PIN options, which can now be set for any length, and you can even add a PIN for your homescreen widgets and shortcuts. If you don’t want prying eyes to see what you’ve been hoarding in your digital notebooks, set a manual lock for the Springpad app, but even if you don’t, the app will auto-lock after five minutes.
Improvements to My Notebooks Section
Perhaps one of the most notable improvements is the return of the larger notebook view, letting you choose between Full or Compact display when using Springpad on your Android device. I still prefer the Compact view for tablet use, but the Full view is the more colorful experience and much closer to what you’ll find on their web app. See thumbnails for springs in a particular notebook, which is helpful for browsing purposes. I tend to use my mobile Springpad for notebook management, whereas most of my bookmarking goes down on my laptop. But I can certainly appreciate the Full view, and any Springpadders that used the mobile version prior to the 3.0 release will find a familiar interface with the Full view option.
Another great point of interaction is the expanded Menu for the My Notebooks screen, which brings additional quick-access options for frequently performed actions. This is right up my ally, as I do use Springpad mobile for management and organization, so checking on updates, updating a notebook and filtering your content is a fast operation from the hub of your My Notebooks page.
Springpad’s still layering on the goodies, especially with the recent integration with Facebook Likes and Timeline posts. This will all extend to the mobile experience as well, as Springpad does its best to strike a balance between curation, social networking and search. Mobile is a key play for Springpad as consumer cloud apps are on the rise, and organization will play a bigger and bigger role in keeping end users sane. Of course, Springpad takes things a step further beyond simple organization, contextualizing your items with local and social content, making Springpad all the more prepared for the mobile future.