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Note-taking app Bear is rapidly improving with new features

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Bear is a note-taking app from Italian design firm Shiny Frog that’s seen a recent spate of popularity as a replacement for apps like the bloated Evernote, primarily due to its simple design and quick speed.

And Shiny Frog has been good about keeping Bear up to date, with today’s 1.2 update (as noted by MacStories) adding some new features in the form of sketching, custom app icons for iOS, and support for Apple’s VoiceOver accessibility feature. The sketching feature is the most notable, adding a simple digital drawing board for the iOS version to add doodles and diagrams to notes. (Drawings can only be created and edited on the iOS version, not the Mac, however, and it doesn’t support the Apple Pencil’s more advanced features.)

This update is on the heels of version 1.1 released in March, which was a more substantial update, adding things like Touch Bar support, merging multiple notes, and more features for tags.

It’s nice to see the Shiny Frog team working to keep Bear updated, especially as the app runs on a subscription model for advanced features — keeping subscribers happy tends to be a good way to keep them as subscribers.

Still, there is a cautionary lesson to be aware of here in Evernote — a large part of Bear’s appeal is in its more minimal design, and the more features it adds, the closer it could resemble the bloated apps it’s trying to replace. Thankfully, it looks like we’re not there yet.