Notes

Ap­ple’s Notes is be­ing re­vamped, but online ri­vals al­ready ex­ist

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Out of all the an­nounce­ments made at WWDC 2015, Notes was the one that got us prop­erly ex­cited. The ex­ist­ing app is ex­tremely ba­sic, merely pro­vid­ing the means to jot down bits of text and the odd link, all of which au­to­mat­i­cally syncs be­tween your de­vices via iCloud. How­ever, come El Cap­i­tan, ev­ery­thing changes: you’ll be able to em­bed im­ages and videos; URLs will be con­verted into click­able but­tons that show thumb­nails from the web­sites in ques­tion; you’ll be able to in­te­grate maps; and it’ll be pos­si­ble to cre­ate check­lists in sec­onds, for in­ter­ac­tive to-dos. In ad­di­tion to all of this, an at­tach­ments browser will give you a great at-a-glance view of the var­i­ous photos, videos, maps and URLs you’ve added, with­out you hav­ing to comb through all of your notes.

But as much as we liked what Ap­ple had to say, we couldn’t shake the feel­ing that the new Notes sounded an aw­ful lot like a kind of Ever­note Lite. If you haven’t used Ever­note (from free, ever­note.com) be­fore, it’s es­sen­tially a dump­ing ground for any­thing you want to stash for later, in­clud­ing photos, web ar­ti­cles, hand­writ­ten notes, and bits of au­dio. Like the up­com­ing Notes re­vamp, you can cre­ate task lists to keep your­self or­gan­ised. Ever­note fur­ther boosts pro­duc­tiv­ity by pro­vid­ing the means to set re­minders for any note, and to as­sign tags to make them eas­ier to re­trieve later.

A big ad­van­tage of Ever­note over Ap­ple’s Notes is wider plat­form sup­port. Along with be­ing avail­able for OS X and iOS, Ever­note has clients for An­droid, Win­dows and Black­Berry, along with mak­ing ev­ery­thing fully ac­ces­si­ble online. The snag is the free ver­sion is a bit re­stric­tive. You get only 60MB of up­loads per month, and can­not ac­cess notes when off­line. Pay £19.99 per year and you get 1GB of up­loads per month, off­line note­books, and the abil­ity to save emails into Ever­note. For £34.99, up­loads be­come un­lim­ited and you can turn notes into pre­sen­ta­tions, use PDF an­no­ta­tion tools, and digi­tise busi­ness cards. By the time you reach that point, you’re head­ing into the realm of busi­ness, but Ever­note’s prob­a­bly a bet­ter bet there than Notes will ever be.

Ever­note may well feel like a ‘pro’ ver­sion of Ap­ple’s Notes once El Cap­i­tan is here.

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