Released in late September, Skitch 3 for iOS was a great reimagination of Skitch, but it lacked some handy features like Maps integration and an Open In menu to send annotated images to other apps. I called Skitch 3 “a fun, quick annotation app with a lot of tools but a focus on speed and straightforwardness”, noting how it became my go-to image annotation app (again).
With today’s 3.0.4 update, Evernote has brought a series of minor but welcome enhancements that make Skitch more powerful and integrated with other iOS apps. Notably, an Open In option has been added to the sharing menu, allowing Skitch to send annotated images directly to iPhone and iPad apps (in my case, Droplr).
As detailed on the Evernote blog, other additions include an overflow menu that contains a Crop function and a “Clear All Annotations” shortcut; possibility to annotate your current location on a map view; and new controls for Evernote notebooks. While Skitch 3 wants to be an annotation app that can be used without Evernote sync, users who want to send images to Evernote can now choose a default notebook in the Settings.
I like today’s Skitch update, especially for Open In support (my Skitch > Droplr > Tweetbot is now much simpler). Skitch 3.0.4 is available on the App Store.
From the Evernote blog:
We believe that the best technology experiences happen when software and hardware are built together to achieve a shared goal. Penultimate was already a great handwriting app, but it needed a hardware complement that didn’t exist. In working closely with Adonit for the last 18 months, we’ve co-created the stylus we always wanted: the Jot Script Evernote Edition, the first true precision-point stylus on the market. Together, we’ve developed the first app and stylus combination that finally makes digital handwriting the experience it should be.
Does that sound familiar?
I wish that I was enough of an artist to truly appreciate apps like Penultimate and Paper and use them on a daily basis. The Adonit Jot Script seems like an interesting device, and the new features that have been added to Penultimate (zoom and drift) should make for a more natural handwriting experience. Maybe I should use Penultimate to create sketches site redesign ideas (I already keep website screenshots in Evernote).
Following a major update for iOS that was released last month with a complete redesign and rewrite for annotations and sharing, Evernote updated Skitch for Mac today with a new icon, new branding, Mavericks fixes and a redesigned toolbar.
In a move that it’s in line with the company’s recent focus on Skitch as a standalone product and not an extension of Evernote apps, Skitch for Mac no longer launches with a login screen for users who don’t want to sync their image annotations to the service. Sync is still available, but all Evernote-related features have been grouped in a single area that doesn’t ask users to log into their accounts every time they launch the app. That alone was one of the biggest annoyances of the old Skitch for people who liked to keep it out of Evernote, and I’m glad it’s been improved.
In terms of using the app, Evernote has redesigned the toolbar to be more similar to the iOS counterpart in how it groups items and only shows more options when necessary. On the left side of the screen, you can click items as you’ve always done with Skitch, but now tools that have sub-menus for additional controls will navigate into a sub-view when clicked instead of showing a popup. This view can be pinned on screen to keep it visible by clicking the pin icon at the top, or you can click anywhere in the sidebar to go back to the main tool selection view. I’ve only been trying the new sidebar this morning, and it does seem to work better than the old UI for how I’m used to annotate images in Skitch (I either drag images onto the dock icon or use the menubar helper for crosshair snapshots).
The bottom section of the app has been redesigned as well. Zoom controls, file name, format, and “drag me” are more tightly integrated in a single toolbar, and I’ve noticed that you can click the filename to rename an image directly in Skitch before saving it to the Finder. Interestingly, file format options include both “PNG” and “Skitch PNG” – the only difference being that, in my tests, “Skitch PNG” set the Alpha Channel to “Yes” in the Finder’s image inspector.
I still miss the old app’s ability to snap webpages (I’ve been using Ember for that, and it’s a very nice app) but it’s good to see Evernote getting rid of cruft and polishing the design for users who don’t care about syncing their annotations to the main Evernote service. I don’t think that Skitch for Mac will ever be as simple as the new iOS version, and today’s update feels like a good one.
Skitch 2.7 is available on the Mac App Store.
Speaking of Evernote news, my friend Brett Kelly released version 4.0 of his Evernote Essentials eBook today. Brett’s book provides, in my opinion, the best introduction to Evernote for anyone who’s always been curious to try it as it covers all the basic and advanced features of the service.
In version 4.0, Brett also added a chapter called “How I Use Evernote” that includes practical examples of how he relies on Evernote to organize his life, and I can’t wait to read it. I’m also looking forward to the next update to the book, which should cover the major redesign of Evernote for iOS released last week.
Get the book on the iBookstore.
Besides Skitch 3, the big news from today’s Evernote Conference is the company’s entrance in selling physical, lifestyle goods in the new Evernote Market. From their blog:
We want Evernote to make you smarter. To let you elegantly move through the giant flood of information that’s always coming at you in your personal and professional life. We want Evernote to appeal to the types of people who have a life’s work, and we want to create products that make your life’s work better.
Today, we’re launching a series of “Evernote Editions”— beautiful technology and lifestyle products made through partnerships with some of the most creative companies and designers in the world. These partners have been inspiring us for years and it’s an honor to work with them to make something truly great.
It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out for Evernote. The company has clearly cut deals for revenue sharing on branded goods, and some of them, such as the Adonit stylus or the ScanSnap, will directly influcence and integrate with Evernote software. Aside from socks, water bottles, and wallets, will products that directly enhance Evernote apps convince people to buy them? Personally, I am very satisfied with my Evernote Moleskine and I would love to try out the ScanSnap. The looks and functionality of the new products and services are promising.
The Verge also has a feature story on Evernote Market with an interview with CEO Phil Libin.
Released today during the third annual Evernote Conference, Skitch 3 is a complete redesign of the app that Evernote acquired in 2011 and started integrating into the main desktop and iOS apps. Skitch 3 has been redesigned and rebuilt for iOS 7, stripped away of the direct integration with an Evernote notebook, rebranded, and relaunched as a visual note-taking app focused on quick and fast markup. I have been testing Skitch 3 for the past few weeks, and, after an initial shock, I think it’s an excellent change. Read more
What makes the new stickies so special? Much like Evernote’s partnership with Moleskine last year, Evernote’s app has received slight enhancements to help users record hand-written notes. In Moleskine’s case, the notebook’s special dotted lines helped improve image capture by a phone or tablet. With Post-it Notes, color plays a major role. The lineup for the new Post-it Super Sticky Notes includes electric blue, electric yellow, neon pink, and limeade. The Evernote app has been designed to recognize these colors, automatically digitizing and organizing the notes into different categories.
I have multiple Evernote-branded Moleskine notebooks, and I love where Evernote is going with this. Not only is it an intriguing idea (digitalizing the analog world without giving up on physical notebooks or notes), but it also is cool from a technological standpoint. The Moleskine notebooks have special dotted lines and you can put stickers on the pages to have the Evernote camera automatically tag photos; doing the same for different post-it colors is ingenious.
Developed by Japan-based rakko entertainment (the same team behind FastEver), NoteCube is a $0.99 iPhone app that lets you quickly take text and photo-based notes and sync them with Evernote. I have been using NoteCube on my Home screen lately, and I think it provides a great way to quickly send bits of text and images to your Evernote account. Read more
Following an update to the Mac version released two weeks ago, Evernote updated its iOS app last night to include direct Skitch integration, support for shortcuts, access to recent notes for improved multitasking, and new premium features. Read more