Overview of Simplenotes versus Elements

There is no shortage of notes apps on the iPhone. In fact there are several popular apps that are used by the majority of iPhone users. In this article, we will analyze two of the most popular iPhone apps that allow you to write notes, sync them and so much more! We are putting head to head the Simplenotes app against the Elements app. Both manage to accomplish the same goal in the end but have different means on getting there. Boast sports plenty of features but only one will be the winner! Let’s waste no more time and get down to business as we analyze the different features of both apps such as syncing, cost, fonts, word count and a lot more!


The developer of Simplenotes is a company based in San Francisco called Simperium. App builders are helped by Simperium in the process of building apps that synchronize all sorts of content across devices and the web. Simperium also created the platform that powers their app, Simplenotes. Dozens of 3rd party apps and services are using an early version of the Simperium platform in the synchronizing of text with the Simplenote ecosystem. On the other hand, the Elements app was created by Second Gear. Based out of Indianapolis, IN, they are Mac and iPhone development firm founded in 2006. Honorable mentions of other software developed by Odasoft for the iPhone and iPad include: PocketTweets, a very popular Twitter app for the iPhone, Today and Check Off 4.

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Simplenotes and Elements

Our comparison between Simplenotes and elements will cover the following crucial aspects of every notes app out there: syncing, searching, sorting, word count and other features. Firstly, the apps differ fundamentally in the manner they which handle syncing. Simplenotes provides you with its own syncing system called native syncing. As a result, your note is backed up Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service and you can view and edit it through your web browser. This is achieved by signing up with a username and password on the simplenoteapp.com website. If you have the Premium account, your notes can be synced to your Dropbox account and edit them in the text application of your choice. In addition, you can also sync to a Dropbox account without a Premium account by using Notational Velocity.

The Elements app manages syncing in a very simple fashion: It syncs to your Dropbox folder in the “Elements” folder. Thus, any notes that you create on your iPhone or computer can be viewed and edited by using both devices. In terms of fonts, only Helvetica is offered by Simplenotes while every font on the iPhone in every style is provided by Elements.

As for the searching feature, Simplenotes has the best search tool as it tell you both the notes that contain the searched string as well as the first spot where that string occurs within the file. On the other hand, only the first stage of searching is done by Elements. Notes can be listed by Simplenotes in three ways: by file name, creation date modification date while Elements can sort the list of notes solely by modification date and file name. As for word count, both apps have info button that tells you the number of characters, word and lines.

As for some other features the apps boast, the Markdown preview mode and the fact that a variety of choices for foreground and background color are present, are the most interesting additional features of Elements. With Simplenotes, you can protect your notes by using a passcode lock.


Both notes apps are rated 4+ on the iTunes app store.


Simplenotes is a free app but an InApp Premium upgrade option that costs $20 per year is present and optional. The ads are removed and it allows direct syncing with Dropbox, among other features. Elements costs $4.99 and there are no ads and InApp purchases. If you buy it, you basically get all the features.

In a nutshell

All in all, the Simplenotes app wins the content because apart from its lack of font choices, it sports more features than Elements.

Head2Head winner: Simplenotes

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