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evernote How Evernote almost ruined my trip: FAQ about Android limitations

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I thought I was being good.

 

I saved all my stuff in a Santorini folder, and made that folder offline on all my devices because I would not have access to reasonably priced data while there (although there was wi-fi at the hotel).  I brought my Samsung Note 3 phone and an Android tablet and caught the plane.

 

1. When I got to Santorini I noticed that all my pictures using the Evernote pictures function were automatically going to my default Inbox folder.  I wanted everything for the next 14 days to go into the Santorini folder. No problem, I will just change my default folder to Santorini 2014.  Well, it turns out there is no way to change the default folder using Android or the web.  So, I had to make a decision: keep moving everything every day to the Santorini folder after the fact, or move everything out of the Inbox folder into a newly created "old inbox" folder so that I could reserve my Inbox for all things Santorini for the next 14 days.  I had over 100 files that had to be moved.

 
2 In moving the files out of the Inbox and into the "old inbox" folder I realized that with Android and the web, there is no way to multi-select notes and move to a new folder. Online I noticed people saying you can do it with the web version but I tried what they said and couldn't get it to work. So I had to manually select 1 file at a time, select "move to notebook" then "select notebook". As I said, I had over 100 files. I was not a happy camper. 
 
3. I wanted to update my friend about my trip as it was happening. We have a shared folder, so I figured I would copy stuff over to that folder. Nope. Turns out you can't "copy to notebook" in android, you can only move.  Geezus, what next.
 
4. I took pictures of menus, annotated them with flags to highlight what we ordered, and I also took picture of the dishes.  When I got to the hotel at night I was ready to do my work: merge documents, move images from one note to another to put the photos of dishes under the photos of the menu, that sort of thing.  Nope. In Android you can't merge. Ok, I figured I would cut/paste or copy then delete the photos from one note to the other. Nope. You can't select an image from one note and copy or cut and paste into another. Things are not going my way.
 
5. So as a last resort, I figured I would copy the url of the notes containing photos I wanted to share with my friend and send them in an email. I wanted to send the menu with the highlights, and then the pictures of the food with my comments.  Again with the "no". Evernote keeps telling me that it will shut down everytime I "copy url".
 
Earlier this year I read that Evernote was going to focus on fixes rather than adding new features. That's great. But it would be great if the program worked the same way across all platforms, otherwise one could discover the essential differences too late, like I did.
 
So take this as a warning if you must depend on Android alone for a trip or any other reason.  Spend a few days using only Android to discover what will and will not work.
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience,  and I'm sure that the Android client will gradually acquire more usability;  but one reason for having differences between clients is that something that is easy in one OS is difficult if not impossible in another - evidence the more features available for Mac 10.7 users that aren't supported in 10.6.  And Evernote much-quoted "we'll fix it" comment was to do with bugs,  not those differences between Android and Web or Desktop clients. 

 

The last line of your post I totally agree with - whenever you use a new process,  whether that's on holiday or at a meeting it's essential to have a practice first.  I had the same sort of experience first time I used an expensive new camera - I couldn't find things that I 'knew' should be available,  but maybe I was confusing my old camera with this one,  or maybe the setting was under one of the many menus and buttons... 

 

Evernote will get better,  and meantime you'll find work-arounds for the things it can't do.

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one reason for having differences between clients is that something that is easy in one OS is difficult if not impossible in another

gazumped, true enough.  I'm sure multi-selecting notes on an android would be difficult to implement (if not impossible) given the 'touch' aspect to the device. The other issues raised in my post though I'm not so sure. Merge could be tricky because you can't multi-select, but copying a note should be easy, as should cut/copy a picture from one note to another. Not sure why changing the default folder isn't possible.  I'm not a programmer so I don't know, but I wonder if some of these options might be missing just because of an oversight rather than implementation issues. I hope so, because that means they could be added.

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I thought I was being good.

 

I saved all my stuff in a Santorini folder, and made that folder offline on all my devices because I would not have access to reasonably priced data while there (although there was wi-fi at the hotel).  I brought my Samsung Note 3 phone and an Android tablet and caught the plane.

 

1. When I got to Santorini I noticed that all my pictures using the Evernote pictures function were automatically going to my default Inbox folder.  I wanted everything for the next 14 days to go into the Santorini folder. No problem, I will just change my default folder to Santorini 2014.  Well, it turns out there is no way to change the default folder using Android or the web.  So, I had to make a decision: keep moving everything every day to the Santorini folder after the fact, or move everything out of the Inbox folder into a newly created "old inbox" folder so that I could reserve my Inbox for all things Santorini for the next 14 days.  I had over 100 files that had to be moved.

 
2 In moving the files out of the Inbox and into the "old inbox" folder I realized that with Android and the web, there is no way to multi-select notes and move to a new folder. Online I noticed people saying you can do it with the web version but I tried what they said and couldn't get it to work. So I had to manually select 1 file at a time, select "move to notebook" then "select notebook". As I said, I had over 100 files. I was not a happy camper. 
 
3. I wanted to update my friend about my trip as it was happening. We have a shared folder, so I figured I would copy stuff over to that folder. Nope. Turns out you can't "copy to notebook" in android, you can only move.  Geezus, what next.
 
4. I took pictures of menus, annotated them with flags to highlight what we ordered, and I also took picture of the dishes.  When I got to the hotel at night I was ready to do my work: merge documents, move images from one note to another to put the photos of dishes under the photos of the menu, that sort of thing.  Nope. In Android you can't merge. Ok, I figured I would cut/paste or copy then delete the photos from one note to the other. Nope. You can't select an image from one note and copy or cut and paste into another. Things are not going my way.
 
5. So as a last resort, I figured I would copy the url of the notes containing photos I wanted to share with my friend and send them in an email. I wanted to send the menu with the highlights, and then the pictures of the food with my comments.  Again with the "no". Evernote keeps telling me that it will shut down everytime I "copy url".
 
Earlier this year I read that Evernote was going to focus on fixes rather than adding new features. That's great. But it would be great if the program worked the same way across all platforms, otherwise one could discover the essential differences too late, like I did.
 
So take this as a warning if you must depend on Android alone for a trip or any other reason.  Spend a few days using only Android to discover what will and will not work.

 

So a couple answers to the issues you seemed to experience on your trip to Santorini (jealous!)

 

1. "it turns out there is no way to change the default folder using Android or the web."

On web, you can right click on a notebook, select properties and select the "Make this my default notebook" box.

 

2. "I realized that with Android and the web, there is no way to multi-select notes and move to a new folder."

While you can not multi-select on Android, you can do this on your web account. CMD + click should allow you to multi-select multiple notes, etc. on your web account. You can then merge, email, delete, copy note link to clipboard, or move to new notebook.

 

3. "you can't "copy to notebook" in android,"

Copy is not supported on clients that do not fully sync the data. They do not have all the data to copy particularly between shards.

 

4. "In Android you can't merge. Ok, I figured I would cut/paste or copy then delete the photos from one note to the other. Nope. You can't select an image from one note and copy or cut and paste into another. Things are not going my way."

Merge is not supported on our mobile applications. This requires a fill sync of a note. This is available on your web (and desktop) account *Refer to answer #2*

 

5. "I figured I would copy the url of the notes containing photos I wanted to share with my friend and send them in an email."

Copying URL does not work when you are offline. This feature requires communication with the servers to obtain the URL. Secure URLs are enabled and disabled via server access. If you are still receiving an error message while doing this online, you should contact the Evernote Support Team at http://evernote.com/contact/support/

 

I hope that these answer help!

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Does Evernote work on the Web on Android? The last time I checked it didn't. The mobile site doesn't work anymore (is that ever coming back?), and the mobile site didn't have the ability to make changes anyhow.

 

There may be some way to use an alternative browser on Android. If so, does anyone have suggestions? I am afraid I am not familiar with the options. On iOS, I used to use Puffin to access the Web and do some actions, but that isn't playing friendly with Evernote's site anymore, so the only way I know of using iOS to access the Web is to remote login to a desktop. Perhaps we need to do something similar with Android?

 

Anyhow, it might help to document the different functions available on each device. I've done a little of this here:

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=169

 

Some of the things in iOS obviously apply to Android as well. I really ought to update the page, but I haven't had much time recently. Ideally, of course, we would have more feature parity!

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Charboyd, thanks for the reply. I appreciate the time it took to go through each of my concerns.

 

I only had Android devices with me. I had a phone and a tablet, all very very modern.

 

The odd thing is that I just now tried to reproduce what I did while in Santorini, because I could swear that all the options you mention were not availabe on the web. I spent I don't know how long trying the web version while in Santorini, following instructions that I found on the net about how to do certain things on the web and I could not do them. Is it possible that some of the functionality you say is available on the web doesn't work with Android?  Just now I tried to reproduce my steps to show you how I could not see those options you are referring to and now I can't get onto the web version at all on my tablet.  After I log in to https://www.evernote.com/ and give my password, I get a message saying:   "Sorry, Evernote Web is not supported on Android browsers" .  Then in fine print it says "but we have an app for Android". I thought maybe it was some special app just to get on the web version, but of course it isn't. It is just the plain Evernote for Android which of course I already have.

 

So much of what you reply here is no longer applicable now that we can't get on the web version of our accounts using Android, and wasn't applicable when I was in Santorini when I did manage to get on the web using my Android device.

 

I'm not sure I understand the issues of certain functions not being supported on clients that "do not fully sync the data".  Perhaps it is a technical detail that I don't need to know about, but my Android devices sync - I had wifi the entire time and everything synced fine. Perhaps "fully" sync means structural things like new folders, etc rather than just notes.

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As GrumpyMonkey speculated, there is no mobile website and it affects both iOS and Android devices based on your experience. 

 

Indeed, even if you could access the web interface, there's no way to right-click on a tablet, nor is there a way to hold ctrl/cmd while clicking to select multiple notes. As such, even if you could get to the web interface, you'd be unable to do any of those things. 

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Does Evernote work on the Web on Android? The last time I checked it didn't. The mobile site doesn't work anymore (is that ever coming back?), and the mobile site didn't have the ability to make changes anyhow.

 

There may be some way to use an alternative browser on Android. If so, does anyone have suggestions? I am afraid I am not familiar with the options. On iOS, I used to use Puffin to access the Web and do some actions, but that isn't playing friendly with Evernote's site anymore, so the only way I know of using iOS to access the Web is to remote login to a desktop. Perhaps we need to do something similar with Android?

 

Anyhow, it might help to document the different functions available on each device. I've done a little of this here:

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=169

 

Some of the things in iOS obviously apply to Android as well. I really ought to update the page, but I haven't had much time recently. Ideally, of course, we would have more feature parity!

 

GrumpyMonkey, oh wow, thanks for that link. Good job!

 

That really is something that Evernote should display clearly somewhere.  If they can't make all platforms work with the same funcationality (which would be ideal, of course), then there should be a chart somewhere, updated whenever there is an update, that clearly displays what works and what doesn't.  I tell ya, I sure could have used one of those before my trip. At least I would have been prepared for what my Android devices could and could not do.

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Does Evernote work on the Web on Android? The last time I checked it didn't. The mobile site doesn't work anymore (is that ever coming back?), and the mobile site didn't have the ability to make changes anyhow.

 

There may be some way to use an alternative browser on Android. If so, does anyone have suggestions? I am afraid I am not familiar with the options. On iOS, I used to use Puffin to access the Web and do some actions, but that isn't playing friendly with Evernote's site anymore, so the only way I know of using iOS to access the Web is to remote login to a desktop. Perhaps we need to do something similar with Android?

 

Anyhow, it might help to document the different functions available on each device. I've done a little of this here:

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=169

 

Some of the things in iOS obviously apply to Android as well. I really ought to update the page, but I haven't had much time recently. Ideally, of course, we would have more feature parity!

 

GrumpyMonkey, oh wow, thanks for that link. Good job!

 

That really is something that Evernote should display clearly somewhere.  If they can't make all platforms work with the same funcationality (which would be ideal, of course), then there should be a chart somewhere, updated whenever there is an update, that clearly displays what works and what doesn't.  I tell ya, I sure could have used one of those before my trip. At least I would have been prepared for what my Android devices could and could not do.

 

 

Most limitations that you experience in your Evernote app come from limitations of the device. However, we do take customer feedback to heart and our developers are already aware of all the comments and suggestions you have made in this post :)

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I'm off to Santorini again in 2 weeks.  This time I'm going with the same phone (Android Samsung Galaxy Note 3) but I am armed with a Win10 tiny laptop that also turns into a tablet. I got it for the trip, so that there will be no suprises. If I can't do something with Android, and if none of my concerns from 2 years ago have been eliminated, then at least I know my way around Win10.

Except for this. It turns out that when I flip my screen over 360 degrees so that the entire laptop turns into a tablet, I can't use Evernote because it turns out that they no longer support Windows touch. I swear I am so sh*t out of luck when it comes using Evernote away from my desktop computer.

So just a warning, again, to anyone reading all of those "travel with Evernote"  search results.  I love Evernote as much as the next guy, but they sure do make it difficult sometimes...

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Hi.  When you flip your screen and use the device as a tablet,  do you have enough screen space to use the web version of Evernote? 

The official Touch product was discontinued last year - do you have the most up to date version of the app on your device?

If you have enough storage space on the laptop to hold your complete database you at least won't have a problem with offline access to notes,  but I do agree that mobile access is inherently less capable than full desktop mode.

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