Jump to content

Welcome! You're currently a Guest.

If you'd like to join in the Discussion, or access additional features in our forums, please sign in with your Evernote Account here. Have an Evernote Account but forgot your password? Reset it! Don't have an account yet? Create One! You'll need to set your Display Name before your first post.

Photo
Android

Offline Sync could be MUCH easier to use

evernote

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 jbshanker

jbshanker

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 17 posts

Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:49 PM

The main thing that sold me on an Evernote Premium account was access to offline notes. Since this is a feature exclusively for paying users, I've never understood why it seems almost intentionally hard to enable. Specifically, there are three changes which I think would make it much more user-friendly.

First, with the small size of Evernote notebooks relative to the many GB of storage on many devices, how many people are really going to pick and choose which notebooks to keep offline? If you need offline notebooks, chances seem good that you'd make them ALL available offline. And yet I have to select each one (with the tiny little arrow in its corner) and enable them individually. Why not at least have the OPTION of selecting "All Notebooks" for offline use?

Second, let's say someone has 17 notebooks, all enabled for offline use, and they add an 18th notebook. If you had to guess, would you think they wanted that 18th notebook available offline? I would. Arguably a new notebook indicates some important new activity, and yet it's the only notebook I won't have available offline, until I need it, and remember it's not there, and have to go find a wifi signal so I can sync it. For accounts with all notebooks offline, why not default to make NEW notebooks also offline? Or make the "All Notebooks" setting described above a persistent setting to apply to existing AND new notebooks?

Third relates to adding new devices. Again, if I've already shown Evernote that I keep all my notebooks on all my devices offline, and I add a new device, it'd sure be nice if Evernote asked/reminded me when I first log in: "We notice you use your devices offline. Tap here to enable offline sync on all notebooks for this new device".

Unless there's some huge cost to offering the feature and making it hard to enable is therefore some kind of cost-savings effort by Evernote, I'd love to see Evernote make this excellent feature more accessible through any or all of the changes above.

#2 GrumpyMonkey

GrumpyMonkey

  • Title: 不機嫌な猿
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,191 posts

Posted 28 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

Hi. I've got about 15GB in my account now, so I definitely wouldn't want everything offline. I would say there are users out there who find the current default of online useful :)

That said, you raise some great points about user options. iOS has the option to select all notebooks, so Evernote developers have already shown that they see it as a useful feature. It might just take a while to make it onto the Android roadmap. As for new notebooks, it certainly would make sense to have everything sync if you have selected the "all offline" option.

Great suggestions!

#3 BurgersNFries

BurgersNFries

  • Title: Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 12,155 posts

Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:50 AM

The main thing that sold me on an Evernote Premium account was access to offline notes. Since this is a feature exclusively for paying users, I've never understood why it seems almost intentionally hard to enable. Specifically, there are three changes which I think would make it much more user-friendly.

First, with the small size of Evernote notebooks relative to the many GB of storage on many devices, how many people are really going to pick and choose which notebooks to keep offline? If you need offline notebooks, chances seem good that you'd make them ALL available offline. And yet I have to select each one (with the tiny little arrow in its corner) and enable them individually. Why not at least have the OPTION of selecting "All Notebooks" for offline use?

Second, let's say someone has 17 notebooks, all enabled for offline use, and they add an 18th notebook. If you had to guess, would you think they wanted that 18th notebook available offline? I would. Arguably a new notebook indicates some important new activity, and yet it's the only notebook I won't have available offline, until I need it, and remember it's not there, and have to go find a wifi signal so I can sync it. For accounts with all notebooks offline, why not default to make NEW notebooks also offline? Or make the "All Notebooks" setting described above a persistent setting to apply to existing AND new notebooks?

Third relates to adding new devices. Again, if I've already shown Evernote that I keep all my notebooks on all my devices offline, and I add a new device, it'd sure be nice if Evernote asked/reminded me when I first log in: "We notice you use your devices offline. Tap here to enable offline sync on all notebooks for this new device".

Unless there's some huge cost to offering the feature and making it hard to enable is therefore some kind of cost-savings effort by Evernote, I'd love to see Evernote make this excellent feature more accessible through any or all of the changes above.


As unproductive as it is, I guess it's always fun to try to second guess why EN (or any software developer) did something the way they did.

IMO, your three items pretty much are inter-releated. SO...my EN database is over 30 gigs. Although my iPhone has 32 gigs, assuming all my notes would fit on my iPhone, I don't want them all on there. So yes, I'm going to pick & choose which notebooks I want stored offline.

Regarding defaulting new notebooks as offline:

Not at this time. As offline notebooks is a Premium feature this option is not available to everyone so making it a default option would be very difficult for a feature not available for everyone. But thanks for your suggestion


I'm not affiliated with Evernote. Evernote is an integral part of my life.

Submit support requests toward the bottom of the help/support page here. If you do not receive an auto reply email with a case #, it did NOT get submitted. Premium users will receive a reply within one business day, California time. Free users receive a reply as time permits.

#4 jbshanker

jbshanker

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 17 posts

Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:37 AM

Hi. I've got about 15GB in my account now, so I definitely wouldn't want everything offline. I would say there are users out there who find the current default of online useful :)

That said, you raise some great points about user options. iOS has the option to select all notebooks, so Evernote developers have already shown that they see it as a useful feature. It might just take a while to make it onto the Android roadmap. As for new notebooks, it certainly would make sense to have everything sync if you have selected the "all offline" option.


Completely agree that the default SHOULD be online only, and that it would never make sense to make it an all or nothing since that would REDUCE the functionality. My intent is simply to make existing functionality much less cumbersome (1 selection instead of in my case ~25) and make the setting persistent. But you and BurgersNFries make an important point about the size of some EN databases. I'd imagine once you start keeping lots of video and audio content in there it can grow pretty quickly.

As unproductive as it is, I guess it's always fun to try to second guess why EN (or any software developer) did something the way they did.

IMO, your three items pretty much are inter-releated. SO...my EN database is over 30 gigs. Although my iPhone has 32 gigs, assuming all my notes would fit on my iPhone, I don't want them all on there. So yes, I'm going to pick & choose which notebooks I want stored offline.

Again, not suggesting eliminating the option of keeping some online some offline, just simplifying the settings for users. And given that it (apparently) works that way in iOS it seems that it was not something EN developers intentionally left out of the software, but rather an inconsistency b/w platforms (so far).

Not at this time. As offline notebooks is a Premium feature this option is not available to everyone so making it a default option would be very difficult for a feature not available for everyone. But thanks for your suggestion


I probably should have been more clear in my initial post, but I'm not suggesting making it a default. I'm suggesting allowing someone to select all the notebooks, and making that selection apply to future notebooks as well. Here's a screenshot from Evernote on the iPhone, with exactly the feature I'm talking about:

Posted Image

#5 Ashu

Ashu

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:50 PM

I observe that these were posted in July, and guess what the problem and the design challenge still persists. I would rather go to the step that it is a design stupidity. They get it right on iPhone, but not on Android. I am not suggesting that I am an Android fan but I do use Android devices. Not only is the design NOT simple BUT have you tried enabling the offline sync. It takes MASTER PRECISION to hit that down arrow on Android and start the "Enable Offline Sync". AND you can say good bye to enabling the OFFLINE sync if it is already syncing one - because the screen pop up and and minimize faster than the speed of light :-)

I am a Premium user, and between the 5 devices I use - two are Android.

May be there is a premium companies like Evernote get from Apple? Is there a kick back going on? Or may be let me put it other way - Google should start paying companies like Evernote to get the Android design correct. May be it is a major pain to get the Android design right. But I don't think this could be implementation. It is hard for me to believe that there is something in the Android framework that makes simplifying this difficult or impossible.

Come on Evernote - your valuations are sky high ... do something about this.

#6 jefito

jefito

  • Title: Evangelist / Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,756 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

Really, Ashu? Have you been following the repercussions from Evernote's recent iOS releases? And Mac, by the way?


Not sure how much I buy into the idea that Apple is giving Evernote premiums to develop for iOS. Do you have any evidence of kickbacks?

The truth of the matter is that from what we understand, the two teams operate independently of each other, and have differing priorities for new features (and maybe the suggestions offered by the original poster are not even planned at all -- we just don't know, because Evernote does not divulge their feature roadmaps, in general). The Android has better features in some cases, and in some cases it's iOS (judging by the iOS complaints).

Getting to the "Enable Offline Sync" doesn't seem so hard on the Kindle Fire (maybe you're using a phone); click on the number above the little arrow, which is pretty easy to hit -- trust me, I have fat fingers. I'll grant you that there appears to be something funky going on with the notebook menu when it's an Offline Notebook; feels like a bug -- have you reported it?
~Jeff
EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests | Best Practices for submitting a support request
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.

#7 Ashu

Ashu

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

Oops I clearly offended the Evernote Evangelist .... I guess my account and view does not count :-) I am not trying to understand where the team inside Evernote stand. I am not an Evangelist. I expressed my opinion, and I am going to stick to it Jeff :-)

I do admit that I should have posted a smiley after my kickback comment - it was a smart ass comment ! .... and if there are indeed two teams and they treat them differently I argue that does not make sense. Evernote is a brand in itself - it should NOT large variations in its implementations. But I am ok with that ... BUT there is no doubt that ONE of the KEY PREMIUM features is OFFLINE SYNC and Premium members pay for that. And I somehow do not comprehend why should it be SO difficult on the Android platform. It is a pain ....

May be Jeff you are getting a kickback from Evernote? And just so that you don't ask me for evidence - I am just kidding.

BTW I don't follow comments, I just had a very hard time today trying to get my offline comments to sync to head for a meeting. So when I googled trying to find a easy trick to sync I landed on this post. My iPhone got stolen and I had to switch to an Android phone since I have to wait for a replacement ... but in the process I truly realized how painful the sync process is. And if the offline is what I pay every year for I am going to complain.


I am a paying customer, do not make light of my comments.

#8 jefito

jefito

  • Title: Evangelist / Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,756 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:40 PM

@Ashu -- I'm not offended, I just didn't think that claiming that the iOS client is better than the Android client is entirely true, and tried to explain the reasons why. I didn't think that calling the lack of this feature a "design stupidity" was particularly constructive either. As it is, I don't take your comments lightly (except the smart-ass comments, right?). It's fine to make suggestions or complain or express your opinion, but it's also good to make them in view of the larger context of Evernote's development process. As it happens, one of the things that Evernote has stated publicly is that they aim for feature parity across different clients, but that's a goal that hasn't been realized yet (and there are some fundamental realities with mobile vs. desktop clients that may never resolved). Anyways, as an Evangelist, I am actually not an Evernote employee, nor do I get paid, though I have received a few Evernote goodies awhile back. Mainly I am just a user (and paying customer) like you.
~Jeff
EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests | Best Practices for submitting a support request
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.

#9 xdelplanque

xdelplanque

  • Title: Browncoat
  • Group: Evernote Employee
  • 820 posts

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:18 AM

@Ashu,

There are 2 ways to set notebooks offline.
You can select it with the arrow on each notebook, and I agree that the UX is not great here.
However, you can also select the offline icon from the notebook list (or "more" menu > offline notebook on tablet). From there you can select all and tap the done button.
Would that solve your problem? Was the entry point not obvious to you?

#10 jefito

jefito

  • Title: Evangelist / Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,756 posts

Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

Thanks, Xavier. I hadn't seen the "Offline Notebooks" menu selection before, and was initially puzzled by the UI (just pick the notebooks that you want, or use the selections from the dropdown menu), but once I figured it out, it's a lot easier.
~Jeff
EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests | Best Practices for submitting a support request
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.

#11 jbshanker

jbshanker

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 17 posts

Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:53 AM

There are 2 ways to set notebooks offline.
You can select it with the arrow on each notebook, and I agree that the UX is not great here.
However, you can also select the offline icon from the notebook list (or "more" menu > offline notebook on tablet). From there you can select all and tap the done button.


Inasmuch as this is (almost) exactly what I was requesting when I initially posted (the only other thing being a persistent setting so that new notebooks were also set to be offline) I'm veyr happy to hear about this. I also am pretty sure it's a new feature since ~5 months ago when I posted the initial query. I'm assuming this both because I think that notebook view was part of the major overhaul a few months back and also because I would think one of the super users who viewed and/or responded to it back then probably would have mentioned it.

Since having two places to do the same thing is usually not good UI hygeine and since one of those places (clicking the microscopic arrows) by all accounts sucks in comparison to the other (clicking the download icon and then "Select All" or individually selecting the much more visible names in that list) I'd hope that eventually the micro-arrow option will go away and that the "select all including future notebooks" might be an option as well.

Ashu, thanks for reviving the topic and Xavier, thanks for pointing out the new and better way of doing this. Huge improvement!!

#12 jefito

jefito

  • Title: Evangelist / Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,756 posts

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:02 AM

Since having two places to do the same thing is usually not good UI hygeine and since one of those places (clicking the microscopic arrows) by all accounts sucks in comparison to the other (clicking the download icon and then "Select All" or individually selecting the much more visible names in that list) I'd hope that eventually the micro-arrow option will go away and that the "select all including future notebooks" might be an option as well.

I discovered that at least on the tablet, the arrow is not the place to tap; it's the note number just above and to the left. Works much better when I aim for that, I've found.
~Jeff
EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests | Best Practices for submitting a support request
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: android, evernote

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Clip to Evernote