Markdown with Android

What I want

An android app that allows me to edit text files for taking notes. These are files that will by synced between devices (phone, tablet, computers) for viewing and editing.

Ideally, I’d like the application to support org-mode (https://orgmode.org/) format, since I tend to keep all of my notes using Emacs (and the fact that there are several markdown flavors makes my life harder — related reading: https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only/). Anyway, if using org-mode syntax directly is not possible, then markdown (as it is possible to move between markdown and org-mode formats). [Yes, sure, I can edit org-mode syntax with any editor, but I’d like help from the app, such as automatically indenting things the correct way, etc. Editing in a tablet/phone without external keyboard is enough of a pain.].

Requirements:

  • Store files wherever I want in the phone/tablet; this way, I can sync with the computer (using syncthing, https://syncthing.net/, in my case)
  • Allow arbitrarily nested lists
  • Quick editing, in particular:
    • When editing a list, a newline keeps you in that level but you can quickly increase the indent. This means:
      • A newline inserts, by default, the list symbol you are using: suppose your list is using “-”; a newline will insert a newline and a “-” at the appropriate level.
      • After insertion of the “-” (or the “+” or whatever) you can quickly (a menu item, adding spaces, whatever) increase or decrease the nesting level.
      • The above matters because you do not want to waste time and mental effort keeping track of how many spaces you have typed to get to the desired indentation level. (Even more important if you are not using monospace fonts).
  • Allow unnumbered lists, numbered lists, check-box lists.

Nice to have

  • Open source.
  • Code/section folding/unfolding

Things I tried and miscellaneous links

I could not find anything that met the requirements. So I’ll have to compromise. But let’s split choices into apps I might consider and those that definitely do not fit the bill.

Maybe

(Listed in approximately decreasing order of how likely I am to use them)

  • Epsilon notes (http://epsilonexpert.com/e/index.php)
    • It seems like you can create lists that are arbitrarily nested but …
    • … but after the 2nd level of nesting, typing newline will not insert that appropriate list symbol (i.e., if you had created your list using “-”, it will not insert the “-”)
    • Numbered lists require you to enter the first two with number (i.e., just one will not do).
    • This is the one I am most likely to keep using as it is by a large margin the one closest to what I want.
  • neutriNote (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appmindlab.nano&hl=en_US)
    • Does not indent automatically when entering a newline and does not add a “-” (or whatever you use for lists) when entering a newline. So somewhat similar problems as Simple Markdown. But:
      • Entering a newline and then typing (or selecting from the menu) the item character (“-”) will indent it to the parent level. This does not work with numbered lists, though.
      • You can move items (promote/demote) with the “->” and “<-” in the menu (look for the “</>“).
    • It might be me, but I find the behavior of numbered lists fragile and finicky.
  • Simple Markdown (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wbrawner.simplemarkdown)
  • Markor (https://github.com/gsantner/markor):
  • iA Writer (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.ia.iawriter)
    • I find it amusing to read in the documentation “You can also nest lists several levels deep”: several? how many is several? :-) Anyway, four or five seem to work.
    • Promotion and demotion require manually entering the number of spaces. So you have to remove the list character (say “-”), then add spaces.
    • Opening/saving files is not to my liking: when selecting “open from”, you are actually said to “save”, which tells you content will be overwritten. And I find no way to rename the file from the app (or, in other words, save the file with another name).
    • Too little stuff is actually displayed at once, even if you choose the small font size.

Definitely not

Others

  • grokNotes (https://gitlab.com/Scott.Tomaszewski/grokNotes):
    • looks promising, but in alpha and no commits in the last 8 months.
  • If you search for Markdown in google play there are several other options. Some have not been updated for a long time (over two years), some require login into a service (what for?), some are expensive (more than 9 euros) without giving a choice of trying them.

Other options/miscell

  • Install emacs on Android via termux
  • org-mode <-> markdown conversion:
    • Markdown to org-mode: pandoc -f markdown -t org -o file.org file.md
    • org-mode to markdown: the usual export from org-mode.