Fabulously Retro‘s Daniel Nicolae is back with another stunning, skeuomorphically splendid app for the iPhone. We’ve already taken a look at their previous apps — Meernotes and Meernotes 2, here on Beautiful Pixels and looking at their UI you already have a very good idea of what Rollie will be like.
Rollie is an app that offers you an interesting way to house and organize your photos away from the default Photos app on iOS. The Camera Roll on your iPhone slowly starts becoming a cluttered mess as more and more photos keep getting added to it. Sure, you can create albums directly on the phone, but you can only add existing photos to these albums. Every new photo you take automatically gets added to the Camera Roll. Rollie promises to end this mess by letting you create custom Rolls (albums) in the app, that you can then add photos to. You can either choose existing photos, or click new ones directly in the app. This is perfect for albums like ‘Interesting Signs’, ‘Books I want to read/buy’ or even ‘Something interesting I saw on the commute’.
The UI is what makes the app. You can choose from 5 different roll-styles for your albums and name them. These styles look fabulous and nearly real on the screen. The app is spiffy and transitions are nice. A roll can have multiple photos in it and you can easily manually reorder them. The app has Camera+ integration too, so you can launch Camera+ from within the app, take a photo & enhance it and bring it into the app with a few taps. There’s also Dropbox integration so you can easily export your Rolls to a folder on Dropbox, where the photos are stored as individual files. I personally don’t like the fact that Rollie unnecessarily adds an effect to all your photos when displaying them within the app. Thankfully, the source files you export are exempt.
How practical Rollie is will differ from person to person. I have started with a new Roll where I plan to take photos of shapes and objects that resemble an alphabet, so I’ll see how that turns out. Overall, Rollie does have an absolutely stunning UI and at just $0.99 on the App Store, you can’t resist checking it out.
We’ve previously written about Meernotes little over a year ago and now the latest update brings tons of new functionality and more importantly, more beautiful pixels. Meernotes by Fabulously Retro is another great example of skeuomorphism done right on iOS. This update also brings support for the 4-inch Retina display on the iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation).
Meernotes 2 packs a powerful feature-set in the bundle. The app is full of lovely animations and is mainly gesture driven. Adding images to notebooks is now possible and it also has Camera+ integration. The app also lets you add and customize frames for photos. Each photo takes up an entire page in your notebook. Earlier you could only have a total of 32 pages in each notebook just like the real Moleskin, but Meernotes 2 doesn’t have a text or page limitation. Adding pages or images is just a swipe away. Swipe down and you can view the contents of your notebook. Swiping up lets you add a new page or a photo depending on how much you pull the notebook up. Pulling down on the main view of the app brings you to the settings page where you can link your Dropbox or Evernote account and enable or disable iCloud sync. There are 3 different font and cover packs available for $0.99 each via in app purchase, including a nice Hip-Pack that is very similar to covers of real moleskin journals. The app also works near perfectly in landscape mode.
I should note that some gestures in the app don’t translate well while using it landscape mode. I had a hard time closing notebooks by swiping down in landscape mode. The update also removes custom tabs from notebooks added in the previous versions, so keep that in mind when you update the app. Meernotes 2 is a pretty big update and if you are a fan of everything retro, it is the app for you. It is a beautiful take on retro note taking and I await the iPad version which is being worked on as you read this review. Meernotes 2 is available on the App Store for $0.99 and is a free update to all existing users.
A few days ago, we wrote about Notefile — an app that took a very simple and elegant approach to notes. Today, an email from the developer of Meernotes dropped into our inboxes and I instantly knew it was going to end up on Beautiful Pixels.
Unlike most other notes’ apps on the App Store, Meernotes takes a very retro approach to notes. The app features some exceptionally well designed pixels all over. It features a very skeuomorphic UI, but does this incredibly well. It almost seems like the designer sat with a magnifying glass to make sure every single pixel was just perfectly in place. Meernotes features different style of notebooks to choose from, though it doesn’t let you add your own image to it. You can name your notebooks and choose from 3 different font options — Handwritten, Type-set or Typed & Worn.
While marvelous in form, Meernotes doesn’t lack in function either. You can navigate through the app using simple gestures or tapping on beautiful buttons or action areas. You can add unlimited pages to your notebooks if you want and can even “rip out” any pages you don’t want. It even features a nifty bookmark. There are virtual tabs that you can insert into the notebooks to jump directly to that page or just use the Index. It even supports Landscape mode. Meetnotes also supports Dropbox integration, TXT Exports and the option to email your notes.
If you’re someone who like simple, no-bullshit note-taking apps, Meernotes is definitely not for you. But if you want to add that retro or analog feeling, wrapped in a incredibly gorgeous UI to the experience, Meernotes costs just $2.99 on the App Store.
View More Screenshots of Meernotes