Evernote 8 redesigns user interface for iOS app

Evernote’s iOS app is getting a big overhaul and there are two areas the update focuses on thanks to user feedback — speed and simplicity.

In particular, Evernote 8 makes it faster to find and create notes, and it also makes it dead simple to format them quickly with color, font size, and more. Erik Wrobel, chief product officer at Evernote, told Digital Trends the redesign’s purpose was to help users operate “at the speed of thought.”

“Really simplifying, streamlining, making the product more elegant, making it faster to exit in and out of the product — that’s both the reflection of our heritage of our value of helping people remember everything … but it’s also a response to all the user feedback we’re getting,” he said.

We compared the old Evernote app with Evernote 8, and the redesign vastly improves a new users experience — it’s more fluid, and while both variants performed fast enough, the interface in Evernote 8 is more intuitive. Notably, formatting text and adding color is easy and swift with integration into the bottom tab of the note, and you can press and hold the plus icon in the home page to quickly create an audio or photo note, or a reminder.

It’s easy to add sub-headers and headers, highlight text, or label sections in certain colors and sizes in notes — some of these features were available in the old app, but accessing them is far better in Evernote 8.

evernote 8 ios
New Evernote

Overall, there are fewer taps needed to jump into or create new notes — for example, the “home screen” has been replaced with your notes. The update also introduces two new search features: reminders and tags. Tapping on the alarm clock icon in the home page now brings up all the notes that have been set with a reminder. For tags, tap the icon and you’ll be able to choose the tags you want to filter for.

New users will also get more tips to better familiarize them with the note-taking app.

The company says it’s easier to separate business and personal notes, notebooks, shortcuts, and searches. Swapping between those accounts also got the same simplified treatment — just long-press on the Account icon in the bottom tab.

Evernote made headlines recently for its new privacy policy, which the firm discarded after drawing ire from its community. An updated policy would have allowed “employees to exercise oversight of machine learning technologies applied to account content … primarily to make sure that [Evernote’s] machine learning technologies are working correctly.”

This meant that the firm’s employees would be able to take a peek at user notes. Naturally, after a severe backlash, the company said it’s revising the policy, and that users will have to give consent before employees can utilize their powers to ensure Evernote’s machine learning technology is working.

“No changes, other than us working more carefully with the community — both our users and the security and privacy community at large, to have a dialogue with them on how to develop it in a thoughtful way,” Wrobel said. “It was really more a miscommunication. There was never really intention for us to change anything there, we just wanted to find a way to provide better machine learning capabilities to the product, certainly without violating anybody’s privacy at all.”

Wrobel said the only time the company would authorize employees to look at notes is when it’s legally required, or when the user gives explicit permission to the customer service team when troubleshooting issues.

“There’s nothing we do where an employee can just go and access a note,” he said.

The update is rolling out for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Wrobel said the Android app is already current, but some of the “speed of thought” features will eventually make their way to the operating system. Still, he said there are “no concrete plans of release on Android right now.”

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