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Why did you remove Context?


Missing Context

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On 12/3/2020 at 6:43 AM, vizhu said:

Is that a bug that disappeared or intentionally? 

This pretty much sums up all my questions about the myriad lost features and hobbled performance of the new version of EN.

Perhaps the majority of the reported quarter billion (!) EN users are simple note-takers and haven't noticed the difference?

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On 12/4/2020 at 2:59 PM, PinkElephant said:

Anybody who can read should have a look at the support documents for the different clients. They don’t say in each detail what will stay, and what was abandoned, but it clearly states 4 discontinued items:

  • no more local notebooks
  • no more presentation mode
  • no more Evernote-Special-Edition-Scanner support
  • no more context

This means context is gone because it was decided to remove it, and it will not come back. This is not difficult to understand, although maybe hard to take.

I understand that is was intentionally dropped. 

My question remains: Why remove Context, a Premium feature? 

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I have made a pledge to myself that I’ll stop paying for Premium subscription if the Context / Related Notes feature won’t come back by mid April 2021. Having more than 4,000 notes in my notebooks, discoverability of the past ones becomes an issue. I can’t imagine how a professional note taking service like Evernote has decided to drop such an advanced feature in favour of silly others, like integration with Apple Watch. I’m fuming really. Also, not only they dropped the feature but they have been reluctant in clarifying if it’s ever going to come back or not. I guess they hope we will just forget and move on. If the issue is purely a matter of computational cost vs % of users actually using the feature, then just make it an opt-in feature! Problem solved. 

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Anybody who can read should have a look at the support documents for the different clients. They don’t say in each detail what will stay, and what was abandoned, but it clearly states 4 discontinued items:

  • no more local notebooks
  • no more presentation mode
  • no more Evernote-Special-Edition-Scanner support
  • no more context

This means context is gone because it was decided to remove it, and it will not come back. This is not difficult to understand, although maybe hard to take.

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7 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

You will most likely get no answer here. This is a user forum.

I agree, probably not. But I would hope that someone at Evernote reads a forum under their section of "Product Feedback/Feature Requests". I suspect there are many subscribers who also wonder why such a useful feature has been dropped, that are unaware of this forum. Knowing why could help in possibly accepting the change, or at least understanding it. Is it simply not technologically feasible under the new system? Too expensive to maintain its bandwidth or CPU requirements? (I'm grasping at straws here, trying to imagine some reason.) Why remove a feature that gives Evernote an advantage over competing products? Did they think no one cared about it?

It is my hope that this thread may show some evidence that some of us do value the Context feature highly, and that by extrapolation, Evernote may understand that this thread probably represents a tiny fraction of the total number of disappointed users. Just how disappointed I will be depends on why the Context feature was dropped. 

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The really mystifying thing is that context still shows up on the google home page when I search google.. 

How hard is it to put those results in the app? But.. here's my lame hack in the mean time:

Copy/paste the entire content of the note you're working on into the google search bar and hit search. then open Evernote, resize the window to the left part of the screen and voila! Context/Related Notes again on the right side of your screen/Evernote! If you have a dual monitor setup, just put it on your second desktop. It works good, but you have to manually update it of course.. I'm relegated to this I guess until Evernote gets off their ***.

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There's a danger to using  a commercial application like Evernote for something that's fundamental and permanent in your life. This is a prime example why. Evernote 10 has been pretty bad experience so far. The only hope Evernote users have is that over time, its deficiencies will be mitigated.

Perhaps the Context feature was deemed to be too difficult to implement, so was dropped in the transition. Perhaps it was simply a whim of the Evernote management or development team. One can hope that perhaps features like Context will be reinstated when the Evernote management or development team is gripped by another, opposite, whim. But that's only a hope.

To my knowledge, the open source alternatives to Evernote are not very compelling so far, but that could change very quickly with the right support.

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On 12/7/2020 at 11:51 PM, PinkElephant said:

You will most likely get no answer here. This is a user forum.

ok - I agree with others, we might not get the truth here.

What I can say is Evernote’s VP of Augmented Intelligence accountable for the Context feature left in May 2016.

As may of us would agree, this “rewrite” of Evernote has been short of stellar (I will join the disappointed camp unfortunately)

The Context feature took an engineering team to maintain along with cloud computing resources. I noticed it was being more and more obscured (esp on the mobile client) until it was removed.

While it is just a theory, I believe many of the most sophisticated users have moved onto other platforms like Notion and Roam Research (I happen to use both with occasional Evernote use) - ending support for public notebooks without a suitable replacement was the writing on the wall for me.

It’s sad to hear, Context, a premium feature people were paying for was removed with the assumption they would accept the churn (this is just my opinion, of course)

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On 12/3/2020 at 7:43 AM, vizhu said:

I’m paying for premium mostly only for context feature. Is that a bug that disappeared or intentionally? 

Same here.. it was intentionally removed, but I don't know why, or if it is coming back, but there goes my premium subscription until it's back

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The Context feature continued to work with the legacy app on the Mac ... UNTIL a couple of weeks ago, when it disappeared altogether, everywhere. I realize that Evernote managers can't monitor all of the complaints in user forums (and they certainly rarely respond), but has anyone found a way to let a human being at Evernote know about features that are missed? Even a simple response would be helpful: "No, sorry, we are unlikely ever to restore that premium feature." 

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They said with the release notes for v10 that it was removed and will not return. Clear enough !

If you want to send your message directly, you can use the feedback function which was introduced with v10. There will be no answer, but they promised to read it all.

Or send a support ticket, which for missing features probably will only confirm that the feature was indeed removed.

Sometimes facts tell more than stories can tell.

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OK, so from a not so sophisticated user (thanks for the label) to a mildly sophisticated user (yourself, since you admit to be still using EN): Truth is in the eye of the beholder. I won‘t try to change your „truth“.

Context is gone, this was clearly communicated. Why ? IMHO it doesn’t matter a dime’s worth, gone is gone.

EN decided to move on. Maybe the future is not in „Augmented Intelligence“, but simply in a reliable, fast service. I appreciate if EN invests any available developer hour to this end. There is still enough for them to do, none of which needs „augmented intelligence“.

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If you like to procrastinate, it was great: Starting with one note, you could just keep clicking to see where „augmented intelligence“ would take you.

No idea about productive use, if you mean this !

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I really liked the context feature because it really helped me relate my handwritten "notes" I made with note shelf which was integrated in Evernote to find notes on related other projects/notes in the past. 

Hopefully it will be back, else I don't see a real USP of Evernote compared to Onenote or other note taking apps. 

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