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black.rhino

other Evernote on Fragmentation

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It goes without saying that Evernote has become a necessary platform in the lives of many, many people. However, as the platform grows, Evernote has become increasingly frustrating to use and recommend to people.

 

I see fragmentation among Evernote's offerings as a growing problem. I summarize these observations below:

  1. Feature set. As Evernote sprawls into hardware integrations with Moleskine and Post-It, these features seem to come to iOS first. Android picks most of these up some time later. Windows Phone and BlackBerry then come later. The rollout of new features, however, has become extremely uneven: iOS is a few steps ahead of Android, and WP and BB are up to a year or more behind on features. I point out annotation, handwriting, shared notebooks, and reminders.
  2. User Interface. Each platform has its own design language, but Evernote makes no attempt to even remotely appear the same on other platforms. On Android, it is sliding cards, on iOS it is a side menu. The ability to make different types of notes is in different areas, or completely missing from one platform to the other.

As I personally use Evernote and evangelize to my friends and colleagues about how fantastic it is, I don't think that I should have to be making recommendations based on platforms. If Evernote claims they support a platform, someone should reasonably expect to pick up a device with that platform and have the evernote experience they expect or pay for. I would like to see this company work on bringing all desktop and mobile offerings up to the same level rather than creating leapfrogging and lagging releases that frustrate users, especially those who use more than one OS.

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Really?

Many features make it to iOS first because frankly it's an easier platform to develop on. But, in-app handwriting has come to Android before iOS, so I think it's pretty clear there isn't a major conspiracy at work. Evernote have said that the individual teams work at their own pace, this way no one team is held back by another.

I like OS X, I like the way it looks, the way it works. I don't want my OS X app to look like a Windows app or behave like one, I want it to look and behave like a native app.

Honestly, if you were running Evernote would you invest as much in a failing platform like Blackberry (or one with a tiny footprint like Windows Mobile) as you would in iOS or Android? Of course you wouldn't, and so features are bound to take longer to arrive on these platforms.

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It goes without saying that Evernote has become a necessary platform in the lives of many, many people. However, as the platform grows, Evernote has become increasingly frustrating to use and recommend to people.

 

I see fragmentation among Evernote's offerings as a growing problem. I summarize these observations below:

  1. Feature set. As Evernote sprawls into hardware integrations with Moleskine and Post-It, these features seem to come to iOS first. Android picks most of these up some time later. Windows Phone and BlackBerry then come later. The rollout of new features, however, has become extremely uneven: iOS is a few steps ahead of Android, and WP and BB are up to a year or more behind on features. I point out annotation, handwriting, shared notebooks, and reminders.
  2. User Interface. Each platform has its own design language, but Evernote makes no attempt to even remotely appear the same on other platforms. On Android, it is sliding cards, on iOS it is a side menu. The ability to make different types of notes is in different areas, or completely missing from one platform to the other.

As I personally use Evernote and evangelize to my friends and colleagues about how fantastic it is, I don't think that I should have to be making recommendations based on platforms. If Evernote claims they support a platform, someone should reasonably expect to pick up a device with that platform and have the evernote experience they expect or pay for. I would like to see this company work on bringing all desktop and mobile offerings up to the same level rather than creating leapfrogging and lagging releases that frustrate users, especially those who use more than one OS.

 

 

I agree with your basic premise, that there is little commonality across platforms.

 

In particular, I agree that "If Evernote claims they support a platform, someone should reasonably expect to pick up a device with that platform and have the evernote experience they expect or pay for".

 

I completely understand that each platform offers advantages and limitations as compared with other platforms.  The difference in platforms is often used as an excuse by some Evernote Evangelists for excusing the Evernote design on some platforms.

 

Evernote Developers:  let me challenge you!  Can you (are you good enough) to produce a common UI that will work across all platforms, while at the same time taking advantage of the unique benefits of each platform???

 

The easy response is that "we are constrained by each platform".  I'm sure that's true.  But again I challenge you -- if you are really as smart as your CEO claims, then figure out how to make this work!

 

What is Evernote's biggest advantage?   It works on almost every platform.  That's both a benefit and a challenge.

Evernote Developers, please keep this in mind:  Many, many of your users need to use Evernote on many platforms, often not by choice.  Their employer may require/restrict them to using one platform, while they may have other platforms they use personally.  When you consider the classes of platforms (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone), most of us have two or more that we use.  It would not be unusual for a person to use EN Win at work, EN Mac at home, EN iPhone, and Android Tablet,  And maybe family/friends use yet other platforms.

 

Few people today have the time or patience to learn how to use their computing devices from documentation or videos.  Most of us expect an app (regardless of device) to be so intuitive that we can just pick it up and use it.  So, what makes something intuitive to use?  Well, it works like similar things we have previously used.

 

So, if ALL Evernote clients have a similar UI, then we will "instantly" know how to use Evernote on any device!  Think about how powerful that is!!!

Think about what an incredibly powerful selling point that would be!!!

 

So now, I challenge your very bright Evernote Developers:  can you do it????  Can you make Evernote INTUITIVE across all platforms???

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I guess I've never really expected apps to be exactly the same across platforms. Microsoft products frequently weren't. I adapted. Currently, I use an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and a Windows phone. I'm disappointed that I had to give up my Android phone just as the new handwriting feature was released. I really don't see the differences across platforms as a big challenge. I've spent years using multiple platforms and being comfortable with all of them. Personally, I'd hate to see Evernote spend lots of development resources making everything identical across platforms. I'm with Metrodon on this. I don't want my Android apps to try to be iOS apps or vice versa. 

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Yup. Microsoft Word looks and acts different on Windows and on Mac and I just put up with it because that the way things go. So should we challenge Ballmer's successor what's-his-face to make a completely uniform experience on Mac and Windows for the Office suite? It the failure to accept or meet that challenge an indicator that Microsoft's developers are lacking in skill? 

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And end up with Open Office? No thanks...

 

Anyone still using one of those miserable java apps with a single UI for their crappy write once, run anywhere (and eat all your processor) experiences?

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