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WRZim

A little reassurance for the future, please?

Idea

I, like many others here, pay for the maximum subscription. 

Like many others here, I use Evernote across my phone and iPad and several computers. 

However, it has been several months since the iOS update, and the usability has barely begun to approach where it was with the old app, and I'd like a little reassurance that someday soon the software will return to something similar to its former capabilities. 

The new look and feel is fine, the new workflow and buttons are fine, but that's not why people use Evernote—at least, it's not why people pay for Evernote. 

Overall, I (and I think many other users) feel the focus has shifted away from paying users who want software for work towards trying to attract new free users looking for the next shiny thing. Paid users are, fundamentally, looking only for stability, speed, or features which improve on one of those two. We are more than happy to use quirky, confusing, even outdated interfaces as long as they are fast and don't hold us back, but that isn't the case with the new one: it looks nice, it's well thought out, but I can't hear something important in a meeting and immediately write it down because I have to deal with 30s at best of waiting and random UI glitches. This is precisely what destroys products like Evernote. They get confused, they slow down, and someone new pops up with a narrow focus and a light, new codebase and everyone switches because even though it's not as good, it's faster and feels better to use. 

My most serious daily issues with the remake (overlooking the month when I stopped using it for anything important out of stability concerns): 

  • Too slow:
    • I just timed myself opening the app, switching notebooks, opening a new app, and typing "this is a title" in the title and "hello!" In the body; it took 26.88 seconds. The new workflow is faster in theory (fewer taps) but the app is so much slower it more than makes up the difference. 
    • Scrolling through notes isn't even smooth anymore, it stutters and gets stuck sometimes 
    • This applies to all parts of the app, it's gone from feeling solid to feeling like a web view type app skin. 
    • New keyboard layout makes typing bulleted notes with indentation too slow to be worthwhile 
    • new keyboard layout makes anything except from the apple keyboard B U buttons too slow to be worthwhile 
  • So many missing features 
    • no more suggested titles (there goes 15 seconds every time I open a note where I have to break my train of thought to think of a title) 
    • no more presentation mode (I think this has been adequately covered) 
    • Crashes fairly regularly, especially losing work when annotating PDFs and stuff 
    • Others on the forum have discussed this more extensively, but this is largely why Evernote was great. It had enough features to support someone working at a desk all day, someone on the move all day (what happened to easy access to geotags of notes?!), someone presenting on the fly, or someone running a brainstorming session; Evernote was purchased by many different types of people for many different jobs, that's what made it great and that is mostly gone now. The subset of features that mattered to me as a student are largely different from the subset that matter to me in the office. 
  • No no longer the best at anything except for sync and search 
    • whenever I need to get something done, I find myself more and more turning to other apps. Drawing is useless in Evernote, handwriting is impossible, the new keyboard makes note taking frustrating, and the PDF annotations are not worth the hassle. The organization is the only thing keeping me on Evernote, because any time I'm not at my computer, it's faster to use a different app and then import it to Evernote as a PDF (except the PDF viewer is so bad I'm doing this less now as well). 

 

Can there be any reassurance that Evernote will shift focus back to the paying premium users, so that we don't have to go elsewhere? 

 

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59 minutes ago, WRZim said:

I'd like a little reassurance that someday soon the software will return to something similar to its former capabilities. 

Here's the little bit of reassuance I can share from my software experience

Currently we're at the .1 level of v8
Traditionally, software versions become more stable as the levels increase
.0 is the first level and has issues to be identified
.1 clears up some issues
.2 has the majority of issues resolved
So, I'm waiting for version 8.2 to be released

Keep this in mind for the future when the software is upgraded to version 9

Also, hold off upgrading and read the feedback
This allows you to continue using the software version you're happy with.  There are users happily using v7 with no issues

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WRZim has cogently expressed my concerns and experience. Thank you.

I'm sorry, DTLow The most recent release on iOS 8.1 has reintroduced delays and lags, not solved them. Your argument that users have to wait until a .2 release is hollow, when you consider based on the release cycle, that means another month of poor performance.

Referencing the new GUI a lot of the pain could have been avoided by giving users decent training videos on using it, rather than a short 'hurrah, this is wonderful' style video on launch. That missing training feels symptomatic of a company which refuses to fully consider and support its customer base.

Like many others, I've deleted my 5* review and replaced with 1*, and feel mortified I've encouraged others to use Evernote.

 

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9 hours ago, WRZim said:

Overall, I (and I think many other users) feel the focus has shifted away from paying users who want software for work towards trying to attract new free users looking for the next shiny thing.

Given the major fuss earlier this year when Evernote restricted the usage of the free account and (allegedly) 'lost' a number of free users I wouldn't think they're now looking for replacements.  In fact the CEO's blog recently emphasised their concentration on financial viability and customer satisfaction,  and they already know that freemium products just don't work in this market.  

Despite that the blog claims 200 Million users (that's about the size of Japan I believe) and it's certainly true that - as that nice Mr Lincoln said:  You can please some of the people... - the point being that while certain features are being developed,  everyone who doesn't use those features feels abandoned.  As soon as the focus shifts,  another group get upset.  Android users see iOS customers getting all the love,  and Mac users want Windows features.  Evernote just can't win.  They don't have unlimited resources.  Economics - and common sense - suggests they concentrate on one platform at a time.

(Apart from anything,  it's better to work out all the bugs on one platform rather than half-a** it and port the part-finished project,  bugs and all,  somewhere else.)

I've used IT for around 40 years now (yes we had stuff back then) so maybe I'm more tolerant of things that work - most of the time - and finding ways around roadblocks if and when they pop up.  But my focus has always been on getting a job done - not on using a specific method to achieve that.  So if method A doesn't work,  I'll move on to method B and so on...

If Method A happens to be the latest update from Evernote I'll certainly feed back the reasons for its failure to the company - but I won't feel abandoned if those drawbacks don't get fixed immediately.  I've rolled back a couple of untouchable updates in Android and Windows before now.

My impression of Evernote has always been a rather large and unwieldy vehicle pulled in different directions by customer and investor demands.  They're doing the best they can under difficult circumstances.  But the product now is far better,  faster (for lots of people) and more feature-rich than it was a couple of years ago.

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7 hours ago, Chatterer said:

I'm sorry, DTLow The most recent release on iOS 8.1 has reintroduced delays and lags, not solved them. Your argument that users have to wait until a .2 release is hollow, when you consider based on the release cycle, that means another month of poor performance.

I wasn't giving an argument; @WRZim was looking for assurances for the future

Like @gazumped, my focus is on making it work (or continue to work).  
I'm not happy with v8 and have not upgraded my work device.  
I'll take a look at 8.2 and only consider upgrading if the issues are solved

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14 hours ago, DTLow said:

Here's the little bit of reassuance I can share from my software experience

Currently we're at the .1 level of v8
Traditionally, software versions become more stable as the levels increase
.0 is the first level and has issues to be identified
.1 clears up some issues
.2 has the majority of issues resolved
So, I'm waiting for version 8.2 to be released

Keep this in mind for the future when the software is upgraded to version 9

I think it is unfortunate if Evernote is working this way—I'd personally rather see more internal QA and a slower release schedule—but I understand how software dev works so this doesn't bother me very much. I wrote way more than I intended about the lag and crashing issues. 

The point of this post was more about what makes Premium Evernote worth more ($60 more) than other organization solutions, which I think historically has been the flexibility and broadness of their entire ecosystem of features and platforms allowing many different types of professionals to work efficiently. What concerns me about the decisions made in this most recent update is the shift away from these kinds of features in the name of a slightly more efficient interface tailored only to looking good and facilitating one limited vision of quick note taking. 

The evernote ecosystem did get more fractured and confusing than it could be (especially with all the apps living on the periphery of the core product) but instead of working to include more of those capabilities in the core product, they simplified the core product too far—throwing the baby out with the bath water. 

 

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20 minutes ago, WRZim said:

The point of this post was more about what makes Premium Evernote worth more ($60 more) than other organization solutions,

I thought the point was "reassurances for the future"

Evernote continues to do the job for me; Mac primary, iPad secondary, Web rarely

When price becomes an issue, I'll downgrade to Plus or Basic

I keep an eye open for alternate services but so far none are a better match for my requirements

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