Quotebook for iPhone (US$1.99) is a fun and clever way to create a portable library of memorable, inspiring or otherwise notable quotes. That list can be categorized, sorted and shared with others. Quotebook is simple and does its job. While commercial software gets more capable and robust, there has always been a subset of apps that do one thing well. It's a category with loyal fans (like me), as sites like this demonstrate. Quotebook is certainly among them. Here's my review.
Quotebook's main screen features a scrolling list that should be familiar to almost anyone who's used an iPhone. Across the top are four buttons: preferences, two sort options (date of entry and rating) and the Add button for creating new entries. Below that is a search bar (more on that in a bit) and the list of quotes itself.
Each is presented clearly. The quote is presented in bold type. Beneath each is its creation date and origin, both speaker and source.
At the bottom of the screen are four icons: Quotes (which offers the main screen), Authors (a searchable, scrolling list of who said what), Sources (books, etc. from which your quotes originated) and finally tags.
It's a simple UI but totally effective. Each icon's purpose is clear (they're also labeled) and the list is legible.
That's how it looks. Here's how it works.
Most of the time you'll use Quotebook to capture quotes. Fortunately, its easy to do. Here's how. First, tap the "+" in the upper right-hand corner to produce the edit screen. The cursor is placed in the quote field, ready for input. Start typing away, and then enter the author's name and the source, then give the quote a rating (based on a five-star system). To enter a tag, you must tap Done to dismiss the keyboard and then tap the Tag field.
But that's only part of the fun. There's an info arrow next to Author and Source. Once you've created those entries, tap the arrow to learn more about the speaker or source. For example, if I add a Walt Disney quote and then tap the info triangle, a new screen appears, offering a mobile-optimized version of Walt's Wikipedia page. I can also view Walt's WikiQuotes page from there, and possibly find another gem I'd like to add.
The same goes for the source. If I enter a Bible quote, for example, I can jump to that source's page on Wikipedia and WikiQuotes.
Here's another fun tidbit. If I've got a quote saved on the clipboard when I launch the app -- let's say I found something on Twitter I'd like to add to Quotebook -- it'll notice it and ask if I'd like to add it to my library. Simply selecting Yes creates a new entry and pastes the quote.
Finally, the Auto Suggest feature frees you from all that pesky typing. When you start to enter a famous quote, the Auto Suggest button appears. Tap it to see if the app has guessed the quote you're about to enter. If so, confirm it and the new entry will be completed for you, with all fields intact. If Quotebook guessed incorrectly, dismiss the suggestion and resume typing.
The search options are nice, too. Tap the search bar on the app's main screen and you'll see four options: author, source, tags or all. Tap author, source or tags to restrict your search, or use all (the default) to throw the net wide. Quotebook will search the body of each quote, the source, tags, everything. The Author, Sources and Tags buttons offer scrollable, searchable lists of their own.
Finally, don't keep all that wisdom to yourself! Quotebook makes it easy to share. While browsing any quote, tap the Share button to easily regale your family and friends via email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter or Tumbler. You preferred method not on the list? Just tap the Copy button and prepare to paste into your app of choice.
Quotebook is a niche app for sure. Not everyone maintains a list of meaningful quotes, much less carries it around all day. But those who do (those with iPhones or iPod touches at least) will enjoy Quotebook. For two bucks, it's fully worth it.