In a seemingly minor update to their iOS client, Evernote added a few tweaks and fixes that improve the experience of using the app, especially for image attachments. In the Business Card camera mode, it’s now possible to make a contact request to LinkedIn without leaving Evernote. If you’re using LinkedIn as a contact management service and scan cards in Evernote, the new integration should be good news.
For my workflow, the new image picker is an even better change. Now, when picking an image to add to a note, the picker allows you to select multiple images at once to add them to a note in a single action. I use Evernote to collect screenshots from various sources, and the new picker speeds up and simplifies the process of adding attachments considerably.
Evernote 7.3.2 is available on the App Store.
I was curious to know more about OneNote for Mac, released yesterday on the Mac App Store, from an Evernote user’s perspective, and I’m glad that Justin Williams wrote up his impressions so far.
I’m not switching from Evernote: I need some of the service’s more advanced features (saved searches, shareable notes, web clipper) and, overall, I’m happy with it. I like Evernote as a company – I’m a fan of the business model and the idea of a service that can stick around for many years. I appreciate the work they’ve put into improving the apps and service in 2014: as I wrote in January, there are still things I would like to see, but the iOS app has improved dramatically since September.
I also agree with Justin’s take on the API. In my limited experience with using the Evernote API in Python, I found it painful to simply send HTML to the service to create a new note or to try to retrieve HTML content from a note (Evernote uses a superset of XHTML called ENML, which has its own set of restrictions). Other developers I’ve talked to shared their frustrations with the Evernote API, especially for integration with iOS apps. One of Evernote’s biggest advantages over OneNote is the rich ecosystem of apps they’ve built, but Microsoft’s launch yesterday showed that they’re not kidding with third-party OneNote support either. Perhaps Evernote should add the API to the list of improvements for 2014.
It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft will continue to support OneNote on iOS and OS X – they have an uphill battle against Evernote’s frequent updates, but they’re off to a seemingly good start with the Mac app.
With an update released today, Evernote is bringing descriptive, natural language-based search to its Mac client. The feature, which can be activated from Evernote’s search bar, aims at making it easier to find specific notes using a natural input system for note names and content, as well as more advanced filters for date, location, device, and attachments.
Descriptive search is, essentially, a refined interface for Evernote’s existing search system, which has long enabled users to find notes by combining tokens in the search menu. Instead of clicking to choose search options and combine them, you can now type commands such as “notes created this month” or “notes with images and created this year” and Evernote will display a suggestion based on matching search results for your account. Read more
When Evernote for iOS 7 was released in September, the app received a fair amount of criticism: the company had once again completely redesigned the app after users were still learning their way around the previous major redesign, there were bugs with sync and the note editor, plus several other minor issues that, together, didn’t provide a smooth upgade experience. Evernote listened and started working on iOS updates aimed at fixing problems reported by the userbase, which had resulted in low ratings on the App Store.
A few weeks ago, an article by Jason Kincaid highlighted some of the troubles he had with the Evernote apps, which prompted CEO Phil Libin to publicly address his complaints and, in the process, commit to making 2014 the year of prioritizing fixes and improvements to the existing Evernote experience instead of more complete redesigns and big feature additions. In January alone, Evernote has completed the transition to a new sync infrastructure that made sync four times faster for all users, and, today, released version 7.3 of the iOS app, which I believe shows a good thinking process by Evernote.
Evernote CEO Phil Libin:
Synchronization is now about 4X faster than ever before. This applies to any version of Evernote that you use. Sync now often takes a couple of seconds to complete, and when you get a new phone or computer, downloading your notes will take much less time. If you have a small account, you might not notice that much of a difference. On the other hand, if your account is large, or you’ve been using Evernote for many years, or you share notebooks with other users, or your entire company uses Evernote Business, you’ll see massive improvements. All four of these things happen to be true for many early Evernote employees, so the performance gains we’re seeing at the office are amazing. That explains the rejoicing.
The performance gains are noticeable for my account, which has over 2200 notes. This is especially good news for me as I use the Evernote apps a lot when I’m on 3G, and hopefully it’ll result in better handling of large attachments as well.
See also: the technical explanation of what the Evernote engineers did.
Evernote CEO Phil Libin:
I got the wrong sort of birthday present yesterday: a sincerely-written post by Jason Kincaid lamenting a perceived decline in the quality of Evernote software over the past few months. I could quibble with the specifics, but reading Jason’s article was a painful and frustrating experience because, in the big picture, he’s right. We’re going to fix this.
Honest and concise. I personally haven’t noticed major issues with Evernote for Mac, but the iOS versions of the app have long been affected by bugs and a general instability that iOS 7 only made worse. It’s refreshing to hear a CEO say the things Libin did.
If you’re a Keyboard Maestro power user and rely on Evernote, Patrick Welker’s collection of macros is a must-have. There are several interesting macros to play with, additional links to check out, and you can download the suite from Patrick’s website.
In the first of two updates, Evernote for iPhone and iPad got a nice update yesterday that mainly benefits premium members. Premium members can now scan in an unlimited number of business cards that are converted into editable contact notes, which can be further updated with info from your LinkedIn account or address book contacts. Presentation Mode lets you present your notes as full screen presentations over AirPlay. Non-paying members can add 5 business cards and try Presentation Mode for 14-day days. Lastly, they’ve made a change to the quick note function, letting you choose whether ideas get siphoned into your business notes instead of a personal notebook.
Check out the App Store listing for all the relevant update info, and check out premium plans here.
Bake in Clearly, integrate Skitch, toss in the clipper from Evernote’s helper, then add sharing, and you end up with Evernote’s new Web Clipper for Safari. Once a pop-up that simply copied the full page or URL, the new Web Clipper condenses page grabs and annotation tools into a simple sidebar, adding almost all of the base features you’d find in Skitch, a standalone screenshot, image, and PDF markup and sharing application for desktops and mobile devices.
The new Web Clipper is activated by clicking on the toolbar button, which slides out a sidebar that’s reminiscent of the formatting bar found in iWork’s updated apps for OS X Mavericks. All of the actions are organized neatly into various sections for cropping the web page, drawing shapes, and sharing the results. Arrows, squares, and text can be dragged around, rotated, and resized using onscreen handles for annotating webpages. Clip tools give you a wide variety of options, including the ability to format the page into a readable article view as Clearly would before taking the final screen grab. Sharing gives you a URL that you can paste into a chat app or your favorite website, while also presenting options to share via Facebook, Twitter, or publicly via Evernote itself. There’s a couple kinks with the extension, mainly that it doesn’t like to be used with swipe back gestures or the back button while the sidebar is open, but otherwise the tools work just as Skitch lets you on a Mac.
Saving web pages into Evernote is a great way to remember a cool design, highlight an important note, or refer back to a piece of content for later reading, homework, and marketing research in an instantly searchable database. The extension is a complete revamp over the previous one, putting all of the tools that used to require two or three apps into a streamlined list of actions that doesn’t get in the way. Chrome received the new look a while ago, and hopefully the Firefox extension is next.
Learn more and grab the Safari extension here from Evernote.