I came across a post by Jason Kincaid that got some attention the other day, and I was a bit concerned. The post outlined a number of issues with Evernote on iOS 7, including the worst thing that can be problematic with an information storage solution—instability and lost data.
He summed up my own feelings quite well, were I to lose faith in Evernote as well:
None of this has been life shattering, but given how reliant I am on Evernote it is deeply unnerving — now each note I instinctively leave myself is tinged with anxiety. I’m concerned that as I dig through my Evernote archive I’ll encounter more corrupted audio notes, and, worse, my paranoia is increasingly convinced that there may have been notes that never were saved to the archive at all.
More than that, I am alarmed that Evernote seems to be playing fast and loose with the data entrusted to it. Instead of building a product that is secure, reliable, and fast, it has spread itself too thin, trying to build out its install base across as many platforms as possible in an attempt to fend off its inevitable competition.
I did some additional research of my own, and although this was quite informal, I couldn’t find any indication of new instability in the apps for the other platforms I use, namely Android and Windows 8.1. You’ll find the usual complaints, but nothing to indicate to me at least that Evernote has become a less stable platform overall. It seems like most of the issues that Kincaid wrote about are indeed specific to the iOS 7 version, which as we’ll find out in a moment might have been a bit rushed.
Evernote responded to Kincaid fairly promptly, and officially, on their corporate blog. Phil Libin, Evernote CEO, essentially fessed up to fact that perhaps too much work was done making Evernote work within iOS 7’s new visual paradigm, and not enough on making the app stable.
In a nutshell, he said:
I got the wrong sort of birthday present yesterday: a sincerely-written post by Jason Kincaid lamenting a perceived decline in the quality of Evernote software over the past few months. I could quibble with the specifics, but reading Jason’s article was a painful and frustrating experience because, in the big picture, he’s right. We’re going to fix this.
About iOS 7 specifically, he said:
This isn’t something we just decided yesterday. We kicked off a company-wide effort to improve quality a couple of months ago. The precipitating factor was the frustrating roll-out of our iOS 7 version. We gained many new users, but rushing to completely rebuild the app for the new platform resulted in stability problems that disproportionally hit longer-term customers, including ourselves. Since all Evernote employees are power users by definition, no one is more motivated to make Evernote better just for the sake of our own productivity and sanity. I’ve never seen people happier to just fix bugs.
Libin went on to say that Evernote is committed to quality, has been working diligently to fixing issues with the iOS 7 client, and has some exciting things planned for 2014. That’s all pretty much what you’d expect a CEO to say, but it’s also good to hear.
I listed Evernote in my best products and services list of 2013, and I’d hate to remove them. That would mean rethinking where I store all of my information, a task for which I have neither the time nor the inclination. For now, I’m writing this off to a buggy iOS 7 app, but I’ll be keeping my eye on Evernote for any issues.
Please let me know in the comments if you’ve seen anything unusual with Evernote on any of your devices.