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Evernote no longer supported on an Android 5.1.1 device

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Hello,

I'm an old user of evernote, noticed that the application has ceased to be updated on my device under android 5.1.

I learned that support for android 4.4 was discontinued in September 2018.

And now 5, in a couple of months. What are you doing? What for? How do I use the application now?

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Having the same problem.

Everything worked fine on Android 5.0 which I had for a year. I lost phone and replaced it with identical phone, and now I am told that Evernote is not compatible with my device.

But it was compatible on my old Android 5.0 device just 5 days ago?

I've got to 5yrs of notes saved which I can't access anymore unless I sit at a laptop.

Help please.

Why guys?

 

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Hey everyone,

 

Let me start by quoting the wonderful letter from Evernote CEO, Chris O'Neill, of September 2018:

- "we refined and clarified why we exist as a company"

- "we care about what you care about"

- "what matters most to us is what you, our customers, need"

- "we invest directly in the areas that will improve our products and your experiences with them"

- "allow us to deliver product experiences at greater velocity and higher quality"

- "Our dedication to delivering exceptional product experiences to our customers has not changed"

- "and we are accelerating investment in our technical infrastructure to enable us to ship more of what you want, faster"

- "There is a lot to come from Evernote in the next couple of months and even more in 2019"

 

Well, what came in the next couple of months is this:

I tried installing Evernote on my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0 tablet running Android 5.1.1 today. Got an error saying the device is not supported. Funniest thing, the same software ran on this same device and the same operating system for months, before I factory-reset the tablet a few hours ago due to an unrelated issue (Android version did not change).

 

I tip my hat to Evernote team. I don't know how you guys do it, but you manage to make this piece of software, and the related "exceptional product experiences", worse and worse with every month.

Good job, guys. Good job.

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On 11/26/2018 at 10:23 PM, Philrn said:

Why guys?

 

Because it's easier for Evernote team to have you go and purchase a new device (and another one, when they decide to abandon that one as well). 

Less versions of platform to support = more time and resources to work on things that are really important (i.e. new elephant icon, making note headers bold and ugly, and other crucial things). Makes perfect sense. They're dedicated to "delivering exceptional product experiences", haven't you heard?

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They probably dropped support for API level 22, which is the API used in 5.1.1. I don't know why, probably restrictions from the API, or a very small set of users no longer target that API it isn't worth supporting anymore. Developers dropping API support for older versions is regularly done as a part of app maintenance. If Evernote is planning a big update. if there "is a lot more to come in the next months and even more in 2019", dropping API support for older devices on preparation for a big refresh would make sense. 

Either way, quoting a bunch of stuff from a former CEO, complaining that it doesn't work with an old tablet, and bashing the developers is not s productive conversation. This forum is here to try and help users, not to throw shade at Evernote.

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There was this post a few months ago:

According to that, they were dropping support for everything prior to Android 5 on Evernote 8 and later. It does seem surprising that people are reporting (on several threads here) that a factory reset restoring Android 5.1.1 makes current versions of Evernote incompatible. @Kruger2147's explanation seems plausible, though it doesn't offer much comfort. (However, his expectation that the purpose of these forums is "not to throw shade at Evernote" is ... well ... good luck with that!)

@MaratR, I understand your frustration, especially if Evernote is the only app that no longer runs after the reset. Is it possible to upgrade the OS beyond Android 5.1.1? Is it possible to access the Evernote Web interface in a browser on the tablet? It may be possible to find an older version of Evernote that will install and run. Others on this forum know more about that than I do. It may also be that a new release of Evernote will address the problem, as @jefito apparently reports:

 

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Kruger2147,

The "old device" we're talking about was released two years ago. Every single app that I have installed on it (and let's be frank, many of them are more complex than Evernote) still work perfectly fine in December 2018. So I guess it depends on the developers, and their attitude towards their user base. Some will care, and do their best to allow for backwards compatibility. And some will just go "***** these people, we'll do what's convenient for us".

Don't get me wrong, Evernote team is free to take their product whatever they like (just as I am free to finally stop paying for it). But sending out all that "we care so much about you" BS I quoted and then doing this a few months later is pure hypocrisy.

 

Dave-in-Decatur,

Unfortunately, upgrading the tablet beyond Android 5.1.1 is not possible. Sure, I can blame Samsung for that, and buy a newer tablet, or a different brand, or a different operating system, in order to be "cool enough" for Evernote for a couple more years, but I really feel that it's just not worth it anymore, and it's time to migrate.

Alternatives may not have all the features I got used to in Evernote, but at least they are run by people that I can respect.

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And by the way, if you think I've jumped to my pessimistic conclusions about Evernote team too fast, think about this. Until recently, I've been running Evernote on Windows, Android smartphone, and Android tablet. 

Evernote Windows appears to be buggier, slower, and uglier than ever before.

I can't use Evernote on my smartphone (Android 7.1.2) anymore, as it fails to display the content of some of my notes. I have a support ticket opened for that, and Evernote team is unable to say what part of my notes are affected, and when this will be fixed.

I can't use Evernote on my tablet (Android 5.1.1) anymore, because Evernote team decided to make their product incompatible with a device that was perfectly capably of running it all this time.

So yeah, I kind of feel there's something to be disappointed about.

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On 12/9/2018 at 8:51 AM, MaratR said:

The "old device" we're talking about was released two years ago.

Right, it's two years old and was released with an OS version that's four years old. Google stopped supporting Android 4.x this year, I'm willing to bet that support for 5.x will be dropped next year. Samsung shouldn't of released a new tablet with an old OS version. On the other hand, I agree that Evernote allegedly dropping support for 5.x probably wasn't the best idea. The Evernote 8.6 update killed support on my Kindle Fire, and it's based on Android 5.1. 

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@MaratR, I kind of agree with you that Evernote has a problem of disconnect between its PR and its responsiveness to customers. The "brand refresh" a few months ago with the shiny new elephant, which literally nobody had asked for, has been justified in these forums (by users) as necessary to keep the business competitive, but I still consider it a customer-relations fail. I like Evernote quite a lot, and I haven't had any loss-of-content problems, or even just failure to display content as you've experienced. I can understand your wanting to look elsewhere, given all those factors, even though the lack of support for older OSes may not be totally unreasonable.

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Confirmed that my Amazon Kindle Fire 8 HD (2017) is based on Android 5.1. Evernote used to work on it, but the 8.6.1 update killed it. Pretty sure there were API changes with that update.

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Confirmed by Evernote support: 8.5.2 is the last version supported on Android 5 devices. Can't upgrade the OS? Well then you can't install Evernote from Google Play anymore. Feel free to google around for some apk's and how to install them, but keep in mind that Evernote takes no responsibility for whatever may happen to your precious data after that. Have a good day.

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On 12/9/2018 at 5:25 PM, MaratR said:

And by the way, if you think I've jumped to my pessimistic conclusions about Evernote team too fast, think about this. Until recently, I've been running Evernote on Windows, Android smartphone, and Android tablet. 

Evernote Windows appears to be buggier, slower, and uglier than ever before.

I can't use Evernote on my smartphone (Android 7.1.2) anymore, as it fails to display the content of some of my notes. I have a support ticket opened for that, and Evernote team is unable to say what part of my notes are affected, and when this will be fixed.

I can't use Evernote on my tablet (Android 5.1.1) anymore, because Evernote team decided to make their product incompatible with a device that was perfectly capably of running it all this time.

So yeah, I kind of feel there's something to be disappointed about.

You should blame your phone manufacture:  they should keep their phones up to date with the latest OS, they have plenty of resources to do that but they just refuse to do that...

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12 hours ago, MaratR said:

Confirmed by Evernote support: 8.5.2 is the last version supported on Android 5 devices. Can't upgrade the OS? Well then you can't install Evernote from Google Play anymore. Feel free to google around for some apk's and how to install them, but keep in mind that Evernote takes no responsibility for whatever may happen to your precious data after that. Have a good day.

It's important to remember that your data remain on Evernote's servers; they do not "live" on an Android device, except for notes that you have made available offline. It may be possible to access Evernote via a browser (here: https://www.evernote.com/client/web) on devices that the app no longer supports.

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1 hour ago, eric99 said:

You should blame your phone manufacture:  they should keep their phones up to date with the latest OS, they have plenty of resources to do that but they just refuse to do that...

I don't know if I should, really. Evernote can drop support for Android 6 and 7 tomorrow and apply the same exact logic, can't they? "Blame your device manufacturer for not having Android 8 or 9 available".

Based on the fact than dozens of apps, many of which are way more advanced than Evernote (it's a note-taking app after all), work perfectly fine and update their features on a regular basis, while still supporting Android 5, I would conclude there is no consensus in the app development world that Android 5 is such a barrier for progress. I see it as a choice that this particular development team has made. Let's wait a few months and see what new groundbreaking features will become available in new Evernote releases on Android, now that they are no longer limited by this old and inefficient API Android 5 had. My bet is that there won't be any. 

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To quote Wikipedia:

Quote

As of October 2018, statistics issued by Google indicate that the Lollipop versions have 17.9% share combined of all Android devices accessing Google Play.

Either that number has radically dropped in the past two months, or Evernote team has decided that it's OK to make a move that affects every sixth client of theirs in a negative way.

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1 hour ago, MaratR said:

I don't know if I should, really. Evernote can drop support for Android 6 and 7 tomorrow and apply the same exact logic, can't they? "Blame your device manufacturer for not having Android 8 or 9 available".

Based on the fact than dozens of apps, many of which are way more advanced than Evernote (it's a note-taking app after all), work perfectly fine and update their features on a regular basis, while still supporting Android 5, I would conclude there is no consensus in the app development world that Android 5 is such a barrier for progress. I see it as a choice that this particular development team has made. Let's wait a few months and see what new groundbreaking features will become available in new Evernote releases on Android, now that they are no longer limited by this old and inefficient API Android 5 had. My bet is that there won't be any. 

A couple of thoughts on this:

  1. Would you be satisfied if Evernote were only a non-"advanced" note-taking app (no attachments, no audio or handwriting notes, no formatting of text, no annotation of images, etc.) and ran on Android 5?
  2. How secure is Android 5, since Google is no longer issuing updates for it? People worry all the time about the security of their data on Evernote. Would running on Android 5 leave you feeling OK about security?
  3. OTOH, I do think that Evernote ought to allow browser access to Evernote Web on Android devices on which it can no longer run. That's just logical.
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4 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

A couple of thoughts on this:

  1. How secure is Android 5, since Google is no longer issuing updates for it? People worry all the time about the security of their data on Evernote. Would running on Android 5 leave you feeling OK about security?

Good point!

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10 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Would you be satisfied if Evernote were only a non-"advanced" note-taking app (no attachments, no audio or handwriting notes, no formatting of text, no annotation of images, etc.) and ran on Android 5?

Probably not, but the fact is, it did run on Android 5 with all its feature set (however basic or advanced one may consider it in 2018). Now it doesn't. And the feature set is yet to change.

10 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

How secure is Android 5, since Google is no longer issuing updates for it? People worry all the time about the security of their data on Evernote. Would running on Android 5 leave you feeling OK about security?

Good point, indeed. Personally, I would still prefer to be able to decide for myself whether or not Android 5 is secure enough to store my data and run Evernote, and not have that decision forced down my throat by some people in Evernote company, whose own security record is not quite perfect.

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My Samsung S4 lollipop still runs EN 8.5.2 without any problem. So, the real problem is that EN refuses to download the compatible version 8.5.2 to these old devices.  I also wonder where the previous APK's  are archived on the evernote website?

Of course, EN needs to keep the note format compatible with 8.5.2 !

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44 minutes ago, eric99 said:

I also wonder where the previous APK's  are archived on the evernote website?

I don't think they are. Evernote support suggested to google for these apk's and provided a couple results from google search, adding that they take no responsibility for what may happen if I actually install them.

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9 hours ago, MaratR said:

Personally, I would still prefer to be able to decide for myself whether or not Android 5 is secure enough to store my data and run Evernote, and not have that decision forced down my throat by some people in Evernote company, whose own security record is not quite perfect.

Right, so, you want to be able to choose your own security from a company whose service you use, and you want updates from that company, but not security updates, even though said company had had issues in the past with security?

That's not how this works. 

Secondly, I feel like this thread is everyone freaking out that their notes will suddenly disappear and their work will suddenly burst into pixelated flames. Evernote still works on devices running Android 5.x. The only change is that you will not be receiving any updates past Evernote 8.5.3. 

If you want to install the APK manually, here is a link to a (IMO the only) trusted APK site. APK Mirror is run by the guys over at Android Police. (I am in no way responsible for what happens if you decide to sideload an APK)

https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/evernote-corporation/evernote/evernote-8-5-3-release/

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1 hour ago, Kruger2147 said:

Right, so, you want to be able to choose your own security from a company whose service you use, and you want updates from that company, but not security updates, even though said company had had issues in the past with security?

I never said I wanted updates from Evernote on this platform. If 8.5.3 is the last version I'm able to install and use on Android 5, so be it. I'll make my own choice on whether or not newer versions are good enough to warrant a purchase of a new device.

I'm not complaining that Evernote decided not to improve their product on Android 5 any longer. I'm complaining that their product can no longer be installed and used on the same device and the same operating system it could be installed and used with no issues.

1 hour ago, Kruger2147 said:

Evernote still works on devices running Android 5.x. The only change is that you will not be receiving any updates past Evernote 8.5.3. 

You seem to keep missing this point: I can't install Evernote on Android 5. You can't say that an app "still works" if it can't be installed using the only official method of installation there is.

"Works if you already had it installed", "works as long as you don't reset your device", "works if you side-load some unsupported packages from unofficial sources" - all these do not have the same meaning as "still works", if you ask me.

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With all this talk of apk's, there's one thing I fail to understand. If apk's allow you to install a given version of software even when Goople Play would not allow it, why can't Evernote provide a signed/checksumed apk for 8.5.3 for their Andoid 5 users to install from? Could there be any valid reasons for them to not be able to do that?

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16 minutes ago, MaratR said:

With all this talk of apk's, there's one thing I fail to understand. If apk's allow you to install a given version of software even when Goople Play would not allow it, why can't Evernote provide a signed/checksumed apk for 8.5.3 for their Andoid 5 users to install from? Could there be any valid reasons for them to not be able to do that?

To sideload an APK, users must specifically disable security settings, which is not something any respectable company or developers wants to do.

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