Springpad for Android sounds great: it's a free, web-based productivity app that lets you clip web pages and create multimedia notes, shopping lists, to-do reminders and more.

Springpad for Android includes social sharing - you can follow other users and share notes with them - and also integrates with Twitter and Facebook. The Springpad Android app brings some of this functionality to your data-connected Google Android device, but it has significant flaws and limitations that greatly reduce its appeal.

To get started with Springpad for Android, you create an account. You can do this in-app or in a desktop web browser. You can optionally link your Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo accounts to your Springpad account and use any one of them to log in. The web version of Springpad also lets you link your Flickr account if you'd like to pull images from Flickr into your Springpad notes, but the Android app does not.

Once you log in, the app's home screen shows a view of all your notebooks. Notebooks are like folders that hold groups of your notes. You can customise the home screen theme and individual notebook colours. Springpad starts you out with three notebooks: 'My Stuff', which contains all of your notes; 'Friends' Stuff', which contains public notes of other Springpad users that you follow (the Android app, however, does not let you add users to follow); and 'My First Notebook', which is an empty notebook that you can rename or put notes into.

Creating notebooks and text-based notes is easy - just click the "+" icon. You can record and attach an audio clip to a note. You should be able to attach an image or video clip to a note, from either the Camera or the Gallery app. Every time we tried to use the feature on an HTC Droid Incredible, though, it didn't work. We use photos to capture a lot of information, so that failure renders Springpad almost useless.

You can tag notes with keywords - a way to organise notes across notebooks. And you can set a note or notebook to be public or private.

You can also send a web page URL from the web browser to the Springpad app (Menu, More, Share Page). However, we don't like the way that the resulting bookmark title displays as the root domain only - not the page title. If you share several pages from the same website, the resulting notes all look the same.

The web version of Springpad allows you to attach almost any file type (5MB or smaller) to a note, but the Android version does not have this capability.

You can scan barcodes (but not QR codes) with the app, and it will look up the product on the web. I scanned a book, and the app created a note with the Amazon listing and a 'buy' link. You can create shopping lists, to-do lists, and reminders. You can search for recipes and add the results as notes. You can also search for products or businesses near your current location, and then add the results as notes. The search results, though, are not always very good.

If you already use Springpad's web version, it makes sense to install the Android app. You'll be able to view all your notes on your Android device. However, this app is too buggy for us to recommend to new users who want to use their Android device to take notes. Perhaps it will improve with future updates.

For now, I recommend the similar app Evernote because it works better on Android devices.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Android app reviews

Tablet software reviews

Google Android 2.3 review

Springpad for Android: Specs

  • App for Google Android
  • App for Google Android


This web-based note-taking service is great on the desktop, but the Android version of Springpad doesn't perform as well.