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Simplenote Comments

open source?

Comment by spirit
about Simplenote · Feb 2017 · Helpful Not helpful 12 Helpful Report as spam

so this is not really open source? only the app clients are open source and not the source code responsible for all the actual features and processes which power the app?


The code is open source, but only for the Android, MacOS and iOS platforms. So not for everything. More than that, there are other parts of the service which are not open source. And on top of that their privacy policy is about the same as every other proprietary US-based service.

hmm, so are there any alternatives you would recommend which are open source and able to use on mobile?

Do you mean Android? Try Turtl. I just wrote a little comparison of Simplenote and Turtl on Simplenote's review tab. Turtl is still in beta but it does everything Simplenote does except it's got end-to-end encryption. Might work for you.

Not an opensource application

Comment by thierryl
about Simplenote · Jan 2017 · Helpful Not helpful 11 Helpful Report as spam

Altough, this application is mentioned as open-source, it's not.
The service is centralised and no mention on its licensing is provided on the official site.

Ok, there are some clients published on Github under a free license here: .
But that doesn't mean i can inspect the server code, modify it and redisribute in the sense of the OSI definition ( )

I could write an open-source client for Instapaper (It's now free in an unlimited version).
Would it mean that it's now an opensource software ?
To get real opensource alternatives to Evernote, please take a look at Laverna or Paperwork for instance.

So please, edit the license field and set FREE or FREEMIUM instead

[Edited by thierryl, January 07]


I agree. I've submitted an edit to change the licence category from 'Open Source' to 'Free'. Let's see of the AlternativeTo admins accept it.

Evidently they did not. Probably Automattic throwing weight around. This should be Freemium (imo), or even commercial since the server side is decidedly not and there is a lot of proprietary licensing strewn about. This is the stuff that irks me about alt to.

Simplenote does not use image files. (.jpg, .png, .gif, etc...)

Comment by bandai-anime000000
about Simplenote · Nov 2016 · Helpful Not helpful 5 Helpful Report as spam

Simplenote is a very nice app. Fast, Intuitive, Clean, Syncronize.
But one bad point that does not use image files.


yeah for temporary i will use image hosting such as imgur to store images and paste link into notes

@Shojimeguro, you have a lot more patience than I do. This is a pretty crucial function for a note taking app I use, because I am a very visual person.

yeah i can agree, most end user will want use direct approac to insert image instead of using imgur

Comment by siphons
about Simplenote · Jan 2020 · Helpful Not helpful 4 Helpful Report as spam

Regarding whether Simplenote is open-source:

Yes, ALL Simplenote clients are open-source with the code available on Github. Source code links are available at .

However, Simplenote uses simperium as the server-side sync service, which is not open-source. However, simperium is listed as a separate project on AlternativeTo and correctly marked as not open-source.

Can Simplenote be used without simperium? Currently, Simplenote can be used without simperium on some platforms but without sync. There is a possibility of self-hosting in the future. Hope this helps anyone else confused.


Comment by tomasradej
about Simplenote · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

Very fast and very sleek. Does nothing but store your notes in plain text + supports tags. I love it, both the online application and the iPhone app. Ad-supported (but in settings it says Display Ads: Off ???).


Comment by durhambell
about Simplenote · Apr 2020 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

If I understand the (very very confusing) licensing, this is decidedly not open source or free. It seems that several people have tried to get it reclassified, but have not been successful. I have to wonder if Automattic had anything to do with that.

[Edited by durhambell, April 13]


Comment by xlin
about Simplenote · Apr 2020 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam



Comment by hced
about Simplenote · Sep 2018 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

Can anyone please explain how/if you can IMPORT a folder of plain text and markdown files TO Simplenote?