Evernote, the note-taking app on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and practically every other platform known to man, is about to get pricier for a vast number of users. On Tuesday, the company announced changes to its usage tiers that’ll see free users restricted in the number of devices they can associate with their accounts.
Starting today, if you’re a new, non-paying Evernote user, you’ll only be able to sync notes between two devices (e.g., two computers, or a tablet and phone). Paid users aren’t immune from hikes, either: the service’s Plus and Premium tiers now start at $4 (up from $3) and $8 (up from $6) per month, respectively. (For the uninitiated, the Plus lets you store notes offline and upload up to 1GB files, while Premium adds document-parsing features and 9GB of additional storage.)
“We don’t take any change to our pricing model lightly, and we never take you for granted,” said Evernote’s CEO Chris O’Neill in a blog post addressing the changes. “Our goal is to continue improving Evernote for the long term, investing in our core products to make them more powerful and intuitive while also delivering often-requested new features. But that requires a significant investment of energy, time, and money. We’re asking those people who get the most value from Evernote to help us make that investment and, in return, to reap the benefits that result.”
The news isn’t all bad. Evernote said free users will get a “grace period” of an undetermined length, and there is consolation in the form of a feature previously tied to paid accounts: Passcode lock. But that is unlikely to settle the ruffled feathers of users blindsided by today’s announcement.
The changes are, if anything, emblematic of Evernote’s continuing dysfunction. The firm has so far struggled to convert its pool of more than 150 million users into a reliable stream of revenue, and its missteps have cost it dearly: Evernote, once valued at close to $1 billion, faces continued downward guidance from T. Rowe Price and others.
The firm has slimmed down in recent months in an attempt to turn things around. It discontinued three of its services, e-commerce platform Market, annotation tool Skitch, and recipe app Evernote Food, late last year. And over the past several months, Evernote cut roughly 18 percent of its staff and shuttered 10 of its global offices.