CoolNote 1.5 has been released with lots of sparkling goodies just in time for Christmas. It was always capable of downloading extra content in the form of backgrounds and fonts, so appropriately enough this new version sees a whole bunch of new Christmas-themed backgrounds with everything from snowmen, santas and presents right through to the Christmas bunny. There are lots of other improvements too, most of which revolve around polishing the look and feel whilst retaining the smooth interface CoolNote has become known for. There's also a nice price drop to 0.99p/~$1.50 for the rest of the year. But back to those Christmas notes - they in fact serve a dual purpose, since they can not only be used as cool Christmas to-dos (e.g. present lists) on your home screen, but the rich notes are now sent as an image with the text when the note is shared via email to any non-CoolNote using buddies - yes it really is a poor mans Christmas card solution :-)
Chief amongst the updates are the background/font previews. Previously, you just saw the name of whatever you wanted to download and only actually saw it for the first time when it was applied to your note. Now, the download selector itself shows little thumbnails which, when tapped, toggle the download indicator so you can grab a bunch at once. This works much better, and is really fast even on a 3G connection. There's usually a whole load of caching going on behind the scenes with this sort of stuff which if not done right makes scrolling through the list jerky - thankfully that's not the case here. The main preferences panel even gets a new icon per entry, and speaking of which the previous "edit note" (the yellow note with the pen) icon is now used for the app itself.
Its worth pointing out the backgrounds are only applicable to the size of the note you're trying to apply the background to, so don't expect any Christmas Notes to appear for the Micro size widgets - they just wouldn't make sense. In fact the Christmas Notes only apply to the "Large" size, as did some others in earlier versions such as the Ingot.
Looking at the review of CoolNote from when it was first released you can see how far it's come, and since it still does the basics theres no point in repeating what was said then. Something tells me there's much more in store for this genuinely useful app...
Since downloadable content has always been available in CoolNote, there's (strictly speaking) no correlation between the new Christmas set and this new version, but seeing as we're just a Santas Whisker away from Christmas when this release was made it's nice to see it all bundled up together.
Lots of space is provided for your text, and each note sensibly avoids pasting it right over the title and other content as much as possible, but it's really easy to format and resize anyway making it a cinch to get great-looking Christmas notes instantly. When you share a note via email, Androids email client pops up and, if the note was assigned to a widget, its image will be attached ready to go - in fact you get one last chance at changing the text or not sending the image before it goes off using the native email controls.
So there we have it, another great update with a price cut to boot. Christmas really has come early in CoolNote land!
Free version: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.otamate.coolnote.free
Paid version (£0.99p/~$1.50): https://market.android.com/details?id=com.otamate.coolnote