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(Archived) Leaving Evernote (again)


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Looks like I'm going to cancel my paid Evernote subscription as soon as I get a new Android 2.x phone. I am posting this, not because I think that I in particular matter, out of the millions of users you have, but because I think any company probably wants, or at least should want, to know why a paying customer stops paying.

I really want to like your app. So much so, that I have tried to use it on and off for years. I was a paying customer of your old Windows app, and left for OneNote, when you kept failing to come out with the promised WinMo client. Now it looks like I'm going to be leaving again for Springpad, because you are just not getting the Android app up to speed fast enough.

I want you to know, it has nothing to do, directly, with the recent Android bug, as that actually never gave me any problems on my old G1. The reason I'm leaving, comes down to the same reason I left last time. You guys just can't deliver features at a competitive rate, at least on the platforms I choose to use. Right now, Springpad is offering offline access to my notes, checklists that I can actually check off on my device, Google calender integration, and a host of other features I was hoping to see in Evernote for Android, but who knows when or if I ever will. More to the point, Springpad is doing all of this in their first release of an Android client, without claiming I need to wait because their iPhone client has a head start.

On the whole, I like your desktop client more than I like Springpad's browser-based interface. I like your security methodology more than theirs. I like your OCR search (though I wish there was a way I could get OCR output), I like that you take all sorts of file types, I don't want or need their semantic web cross-promotional tie-ins, and I don't even care that much about being able to share things on social networking sites. If it were desktop to desktop, I would probably still be a loyal Evernote client, but it isn't. My main usage scenario is mobile. I need something that works with my handheld, that is the whole point for me of an app like this. Unfortunately, your Android app is just half-baked, and in 7 months of being a paid subscriber to your service, you have done nothing to make me feel like your Android app is going to reach feature parity with your own iPhone app any time soon, much less reach feature parity with Springpad's Android app any time in the foreseeable future. In fact, I came back to Evernote positively elated that you had decided to support Android, and eager to see what great things you would do with an exciting new platform, and I am leaving fairly certain in the opinion that Android will always be just another also-ran in your company's eyes (like your BlackBerry, Palm and WinMo clients), and that iWhatever will always be the crown jewel that is the premier Evernote client.

I understand that you have been having problems getting things working on Android as you want them to. I understand that, at least according to your developers, getting local storage, and some of these other features, working is "hard." I even understand that a lot of developers, not just your company, are doing their bit to promote the iPhone, because they want Apple to win this fight. What I don't, and am not going to be able to, understand is how a smaller startup, with far fewer resources than you, can trump you on just about every feature on their first free Android release, and you can still sit here telling paying customers to be patient, because we don't understand how hard this stuff really is. After a certain point, it isn't really the customer's responsibility to care about your development issues. If you were light-years ahead of the competition, or if they were the bigger company, or if they were the ones offering the paid service, and you were the ones offering the free service, then maybe there is a certain amount of understandable leeway. Unfortunately, you are in the position of asking your Android-using customers to accept fewer features, at a higher price, with nothing to hold them over but the knowledge that they will always get an inferior experience to users on iDevices, because the Apple products have a "head start."

That, at least for this customer, isn't a very good value proposition. Your service undeniably has some things going for it that Springpad doesn't, but if it takes me a couple minutes to pull up a note because of a bad connection, or if I can't get my notes on a plane, or I have shopping lists I can't actually check off while I'm shopping, then those advantages don't really matter. When it comes down to it, the tool has to be able to do the job, and hearing for months that you know that the tool isn't doing the job, but there is nothing you can do about it right now, doesn't cut it. What I really want you to understand more than anything, is that this isn't that Springpad has taking a customer away from you, it is you losing a customer, who happens to be going to Springpad. I'm not going to Springpad because they convinced me their service fit my needs better, I am leaving Evernote because you made it clear that you still aren't concerned with giving me the features I want on the device I use, and Springpad seemed like the next best alternative. If it hadn't been Springpad, it probably would have been 3banana. I was definitely your customer to lose, not someone else's customer to win. I honestly think that is something your company should evaluate about your corporate culture, because this is now the second time I have stopped paying for your software, to go to alternatives I was not particularly enthusiastic about, just because your company remained unresponsive, and too slow to deliver on the promise of your platform.

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I can definitely sympathize with your position. I 'found' Evernote in a quest to find something like OneNote but with a decent Windows Mobile client. Evernote appeared to fit the bill initially so I got a free account and started playing with the desktop clients. All was good until I installed the WinMo client. What a disappointment. Luckily, a person named Damian developed a WinMo client called Ploze that was instantly better than Evernote's version and was actually feature rich enough to convince me to move to a premium account. All in all I'm happy enough to continue with the premium account with the hope that things improve relatively soon. That said, one definitely gets the vibe that Evernote's focus is almost entirely geared towards the Apple side of the product spectrum. I can understand that resources are limited and platforms are many but if that is the problem then why struggle to keep up a pretense? My usage of Evernote is entirely dependent on one lone 3rd party continuing to make a client as a side hobby. If he changes focus then what? If Evernote was geared exclusively towards the Apple side, Windows folks might say too bad there isn't a Windows version but at least they wouldn't be frustrated waiting for the glacial feature release rate that currently exists for the 'other' mobile clients. Don't get me wrong, I really like Evernote, but I just can't help feeling like the Apple users get the Mercedes of Evernote's efforts and the rest of us get the Yugo.

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  • 1 month later...

Like ubik, I fear I have to leave Evernote and it looks like SpringPad meets my needs better than Evernote. I use Mac/Android platforms and am often out of range of the web, but need access to my notes at all times. Evernote keeps saying it's hard to do, but other companies can do it, so it is becoming apparent that Evernote is really just an Apple App because the company seems unwilling to devote time or resources to support Android customers. I've seen it said by Evernote and Evernote fans that if you stored everything locally, you'd soon run out of storage on your phone. Maybe, maybe not. I don't use Evernote for much media, mostly notes. So I could easily store 100% of my content on my phone. But that's not the point. The point is many users want and need local storage. Evernote should offer that option and could provide a way for the user to flag items they'll need locally so high volume users won't load too much to their phones. The point is, it should be up to the user to decide if/what they want on the phone rather than Evernote taking the paternalistic approach of telling us they're protecting us from ourselves.

If Evernote isn't going to fully support Android, it should be hones and say so, get out of the game, and advertise the company product as an Apple only program. Telling us it's "too hard" is laughable when other companies are doing now and Evernote should be embarassed by such excuses. I wish I didn't have to leave Evernote, but the company leaves me no choice. :lol:

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