First Click: My favorite new iOS 10 app is just an Evernote feature

June 15th, 2016


I have a severe dislike for Evernote, bordering on irrational. Despite that it’s an app I use begrudgingly every week. That will come to an end this fall when iOS 10 is released.

Evernote started out just fine. I enjoyed it despite its overuse of green and all the synchronization errors. But then it bought Skitch and ruined the best capture and annotation tool available at the time. I never forgave the company. Evernote’s very existence annoys me to this day. From the constant upgrade nags, to the launch and shuttering of apps and products that should have never existed in the first place. I’ve tried to use it to backup my brain but the workflow never stuck. Instead, Evernote is, for me, just a collection of unorganized rich-text notes that I can filter with search, just like Apple’s Notes app. Only Notes doesn’t offer collaboration — at least, it didn’t.

The iOS 10 Notes app got just a few seconds in the spotlight during Apple’s WWDC press event on Monday. It was so fast that I actually missed the announcement the first time around. "Notes collaboration — you now can work live with multiple people in the same note," said Craig Federighi.

Wait, wha?

This is what I’ve been waiting for since Apple began taking Notes seriously with the releases of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan last year. Collaboration is the feature that will let me finally quit Evernote forever.

I’ve had an Evernote account since July of 2008. My wife and I both have accounts with shared notebooks that we’ve used over the past few years to plan major events in our life, including two home renovations. We also use it regularly for mundane tasks like sharing to-do checklists and shopping lists.

The oldest note I have is a copy of a receipt for my first iPhone, the catalyst for installing Evernote in the first place. The second is a screenshot of a (then secret) chat I had with Ryan Block about announcing Joshua Topolsky as his replacement for Editor-in-Chief of Engadget — a document I didn’t even know I had. The third is an eight-year-old recording of my daughter’s heartbeat, still in the womb, which just brought tears to my eyes as I listened.

We have a history, me and Evernote. Deeper than I realized. I guess I can keep it around for just a little bit longer. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll need to synchronize with Android or Windows.

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