Evernote’s ongoing plan to improve its technology platform is taking another step forward today with the release of updated apps for iPhone and iPad. The new apps are promised to be faster, easier to use and more customizable, with homescreens you can adjust to fit your needs, better business card scanning, bug fixes and more.
The company has been struggling with glitches and bugs related to slipping software development – something which CEO Phil Libin admitted to following a scathing, but accurate, post by former TechCrunch writer Jason Kincaid. Since then, Evernote has been publicly working to address not only the problems themselves, but also the perception that the company’s software has become unreliable.
Evernote actually started rolling out fixes yesterday, with an update to its synchronization platform that’s now four times faster. At the time, the company said that refreshed mobile apps would arrive, too, as well as an API update.
The iOS apps arriving today seem to be taking advantage of the backend improvements, and now include a “sync status” feature that tells you how recently items have been synced. You can also choose to have this button displayed below the Settings gear, for easier viewing, says the company in a blog post detailing the new apps’ feature set.
The apps are also promised to be faster and more responsive, as you navigate and make changes. Business card scanning has been improved so you can quickly add scanned cards to your device’s contacts – handy, since LinkedIn has practically abandoned its CardMunch acquisition while focused more heavily on its newer Contacts app. (CardMunch on iOS hasn’t been updated since 2011, and we’ve been hearing rumors of its forthcoming demise).
However, after the upgrade, the most noticeable change you’ll see upon first launch of the new Evernote iOS app is the redesign. Users have been requesting the ability to better customize their Evernote experience, which the updated apps deliver via a new homescreen where you can now show or hide the sections (e.g. notes, tags, notebooks, places, etc.) you want to see, and rearrange their placement on the screen.
You can also turn on or off the ability to show the recently viewed items for your Notes, Notebooks, Shortcuts and Tags sections. And you can change the look-and-feel of the app, by choosing from one of three color themes: light, dark or Evernote’s classic green.
Meanwhile, Evernote’s “New Note” buttons are now at the top of the screen where they’re larger and more easier to tap.
Perhaps more importantly, Evernote promises that bugs have been stomped in this release, including the issue that was corrupting audio notes which Kincaid was often running into, as described in his post.
New apps are one of many improvements the company has in store, some of which – like its upgraded infrastructure – have only started to arrive over the last few weeks. As Libin recently explained, the original Evernote infrastructure was designed for a few thousand single-device users, but has had to scale over the years to support tens of millions and a range of devices. Of course, upgrading a service’s underpinning while continuing to support a large and growing number of users is no easy task – just ask Twitter.
But it can be done. Plus, though Evernote may have been buggy, it still has a significantly sized user base – and, apparently, a loyal one too. Instead of complaining about the glitches, people suffering, like Kincaid was, could have easily just switched apps. But instead, they’ve been voicing their concerns. That’s a good sign – after all, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The new apps are available here in iTunes, and they only work with iOS 7 or later.