Evernote – Review

On July 13, 2008

App Type: Uncategorized

Evernote – Review

Our rating:

By: Evernote

Version #: 1

Date Released: 2008-07-10


Price: 0.00

User Rating:

NOTE: Information on using Evernote’s Geo-Location can be found HERE.

NOTE: Information on the update to version 1.3 can be found HERE.

NOTE: Information on a major update to version 1.2 can be found HERE.

One of the applications I use most on my Mac is Evernote. I have been using it since it was first out in Beta and I upgraded to their Premium subscription last month.

There are a few reasons Evernote is so great for me. First, the interface is terrific. It is easy to use and quick. Second, everything that is sent to it is scanned. This means that searching for any word or phrase in any document that has been sent to Evernote is amazingly quick and accurate. It can even find text that is part of an image.

As a result, I use Evernote for just about everything. I send notes to it for safe keeping and easy access. I store emails that I might want to see again. I send webpage snippets or even entire pages there so that I can access them easily. Yup, I’m an Evernote fan.

Moreover, I have been using Evernote’s iPhone optimized site ever since it came online.  It allows me to see my notes and search my database. I can easily read documents on my iPhone or iPod Touch and, if I need real access to them I can email them to myself in seconds.  This made Evernote even more useful for me.

So you can imagine how excited I was to see that Evernote had a native app available at the launch of the App Store last week. In fact, you don’t need to imagine it since I wrote a rather exuberant post. Unfortunately, it has been one of the initial disappointments for me.

First let me focus on the good.
The application looks great. It loads quickly and has a simple interface. It allows you to create a new text note, snapshot note, create a note from a picture that is already on your iPhone or create an audio note. (On the iPod Touch only creating a text note or adding a note to an existing picture are available for obvious reasons.) All of these are easy to use and work as advertised. In addition, you can easily access all the notes stored in Evernote and the search feature works amazingly well.

With all these great features you might wonder what the issue is? Actually, there are two big issues that make Evernote for iPhone a huge disappointment.

First, notes in Evernote are “Read Only”. That’s right, you can access your notes but you can’t really DO anything with them. Add to that the fact that the notes are tiny and you can’t even use the iPhone or iPod Touch in landscape and it is almost useless. Yes you can use the multi-touch feature to make them larger but it is a pain and an unnecessary one at that. You can’t even mail notes to yourself or someone else the way you can with the web app.

EDIT: Version 1.2 fixed a large part of this.

Second, just like the web app, the native version of Evernote is just a doorway. Notes are on Evernote’s servers, not resident on the device. I went out to dinner last night and tried to pull up a note on my iPod Touch. There was no WiFi which meant… No Evernote. That’s right, the notes in my Evernote account do not actually sync down to my iPhone or Touch. I could understand this if I only had 512mb of storage available but I have 16 and 32 GB available to me. I would happily use some of that to have my notes with me all the time. It may be a limitation of the iPhone but it is incredibly limiting.

EDIT: This will soon be fixed.

Final Thoughts: Evernote looks good but the lack of editing and the web-only access makes it no better than the web app for me. In fact, the web app is currently MORE powerful.

Hopefully this will change in future versions but for now I have to say- Evernote, thanks for nothing.  You had me at “Hello” but lost me a few hours later.

EDIT: And you got me back again after a few updates.


Read the Developer's Notes:

Evernote helps you remember everything from your real and digital life using whatever device or platform you find most convenient.Evernote for iPhone is part of the Evernote service. With it, you can take notes, snap photos, create to-do lists. and record audio. Everything is seamlessly  synchronized with the web, and made available across all the devices and platforms you use, including iPhone, Evernote for Mac, Evernote Web, and Evernote for Windows.Snap photos of any thing from whiteboards to business cards to wine labels, and Evemote will make the text within those images searchable.Need something from last week or last year? Evernote instantly connects to the Evernote web service so you can get what you need. Find what you're looking for by searching or filtering by tag, date, location. and more.You’ll never forget a thing.
 O U R   T A K E  . . .

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danc has written 224 awesome app reviews.