Evernote updates Hello and Penultimate apps – they’re now smarter, better looking


The life-collecting app has done it again, bringing functional, beautiful tools into its platform. Evernote is pushing a few major updates to two of its products today: Evernote Hello is getting business card scanning, and a completely new technology called Evernote Connect. Evernote’s Penultimate app is getting a completely redesigned interface, not to mention that the app will now be available for free on the iPad.

There’s a lot of information to consume here so let’s break it down.

Evernote Hello

evernote hello layout

Business Card Scanning

We’ve all lost a few business cards in our day. But if you’re able to digitize the card, well then it’s stored for as long as Evernote exists. To access this feature, navigate to the Add Contact menu and follow the directions. Once you take a snapshot of the business card, Evernote does the heavy lifting. Hello is able to recognize all the printed details on the card and creates a full profile of that new contact. An Evernote spokesperson offered us a tip: “For best results, keep the phone at a slight angle.”

Hello Connect

The next addition to Hello is a new technology coined Evernote Connect. To explain what this tech does, instead of sending information via email, which would require that you ask for someone’s user ID (by way of an app) or their email address, which can be personal to some people, Evernote Hello users can use Connect to transfer information between phone using audible tones – you’re sending information via sound. Where this can be best used for example, is at the start of a business meeting where everyone can receive details about the attendees in an instant without resorting to manually collecting or asking for contact details.


The most important news with Penultimate, as mentioned above, is that the app is now free to download on your iPad. It originally cost $0.99 from the iOS App Store.

evernote penultimate page

The digital handwriting app, which is in its fourth iteration, has been revamped. Redesigns have been a common occurrence for Evernote products as of late, with its Food app, Skitch for iOS, and main app being redesigned. The redesign here actually isn’t far from its original design. The significant changes are to its navigation and the way notes are displayed in the home screen. Important buttons are accessible directly from the navigation bar, while everything else has been shuffled into a menu icon.

There are a couple of improvements and new features as it relates to writing on Penulitmate. First, the inks now better mimic the real writing experience. The pen is more natural, as it’s sharper and smoother. Second, your digitized handwriting is now searchable. So everything you write can be easily recovered. It’s a perfect app for taking notes during a lecture, granted that you’re carrying around an iPad stylus. To access the search feature, you can navigate to the top right-hand corner of the app where you’ll find a magnifying glass icon. Click on this and start searching.

In Evernote fashion, syncing has been a core feature that undoubtedly attracts many users to its products. Penultimate likewise can now be synced to multiple devices. Any notes that you’ve written are accessible not only on your iPad, but are also available on your Evernote apps for smartphone and desktop.

And as a pointer, it’s best to create different notes for different types of purposes. Keep your meetings, from personal notes, or maybe even a fitness journal, separate. It makes it easier for Penultimate to search for your handwriting, and for syncing purposes. If you amass all your writing into one note, there’s a chance that the file may be too large to sync, which would mean that Evernote would have to break your notes down.