Appallingly Bad Notes App

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by nightcap965, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #1
    When Evernote recently decided to increase their subscription price, I decided to check out Apple Notes. I reduced my note load by about half - down to 1500 or so, nothing very large. When that failed miserably, I halved my notes again. And then halved them yet again.

    I now have a mere 650 notes, all small. Syncing between my Apple devices (MacBook Pro, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Pro) is intermittent and unreliable at best. Attempting to bring any of them up in the iCloud web interface takes several minutes to hours, and quitting and re-entering iCloud starts the whole tedious process over again.

    Latest example: Yesterday, I added a brief note to my phone to call someone today. Just a bare outline of information to remember, scant kilobytes. It hasn't synced anywhere, it's still only on my phone.

    Evernote has never let me down. DEVONThink has also been a pleasant surprise, and now that they've come out with DEVONThink To Go for iOS, it's even better. Yes, they both cost money, but a free program that doesn't work is the most expensive of all.

    Apple Notes just disappoints.
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    Just a suggestion here... but have you tried the MS OneNote app? Versions for iOS and Mac, syncs between them. And it's free. (iTunes app store)
     
  3. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #3
  4. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    BaseCamp Pro
    #4
    If Evernote works well for you, perhaps it is worth what they are charging? I think OneNote is fine and also cross platform. I'm not sure why it's free but I'm glad it is.
     
  5. nightcap965 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #5
    I have, and I really don't care for the interface. Besides, it lacks any mechanism for importing from Mac, so that renders it far more trouble than it's worth.

    So far, it looks like Evernote remains the simplest on all platforms at being a data dump. DEVONthink is best for turning that data into knowledge (organization).
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2016 ---
    That discussion is what led me to try DEVONink again, and I'm delighted with the work they did on the iOS version.
     
  6. elemenohme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    #6
    I do love these threads where people complain that they have to pay for good software and want something for free. I love Evernote, so I pay for it.
     
  7. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #7
    That's one thing, and

    that's another.

    Without naming the software title: until a few days ago I was willing to pay for an online service, because on one platform the zero-cost service was temptingly good. I changed my mind immediately after using the same zero-cost service on a different platform. It stunk of "BUY BUY BUY or YOU'RE STUCK WITH THIS LOUSY USER EXPERIENCE".

    Essentially: the quality of what's free can be the deciding factor.

    If I understand correctly (I have an Evernote account but have not used it in years) the recent dissatisfactions revolve around reduced quality.
     
  8. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    BaseCamp Pro
    #8
    No, Evernote has not reduced quality at all. They decided to cripple the free offering by capping the number of devices you can sync to two. It used to be a max upload limit only. So for light users with an iPhone, iPad, and Mac, they have to choose to pay, omit one, or find another option.

    They could have grandfathered devices like Google did with Exchange sync but as far as I know the change applies to all users and all of their devices.
     
  9. nightcap965 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #9
    I love people hijacking threads to take their own pet peeves for walkies. My point was simply that Notes.app, despite Apple's recent work, is not ready for prime time. I've never minded paying for software, I've been doing it for thirty years.

    I used Yojimbo for a long time, but their iOS app had issues and syncing was a very long-standing problem. When Bare Bones decided to do syncing via paid subscription to a cloud server of *their* choice, I gave up waiting.

    I took a look at DEVONthink, but the iOS app was sub-par and syncing was problematic.

    So I went to Evernote Premium, which works on all my platforms, but has some limitations. When they raised the subscription fee, I thought I'd take another look around the field.

    Notes.app sucks. Bare Bones appears to have given up on Yojimbo entirely. DEVONthink Pro has vastly improved, the iOS app has vastly improved, and syncing works beautifully. Whether it can replace Evernote is yet to be determined.
     
  10. NonSoft macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    #10
    I can't even get past the textured background in the Notes app, so it's definitely out for me.
     
  11. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #11
    My bad. (When I posted 'quality' I knew that it wasn't the best word, I was just too lazy to revisit the earlier topic to remind myself of how Evernote had changed its offerings.)
     
  12. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    I don't have these issues. I imported some 400+ notes from Evernote to Notes, and while the initial iCloud upload took a bit (less than 20 minutes incl. attachments, IIRC), all subsequent edits and additions sync pretty much instantaneously. A new test note I just created on the Mac appeared on the iPhone before I even finished typing the title.

    Do you have iCloud syncing issues in other apps?

    I used to like Evernote in its first incarnations, but the app has become confusing and convoluted. The recent licensing change was just the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
     
  13. GerritV macrumors 65816

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #13
    Very good question, I know I do all the time. Apple simply can't do a cloud service, never could.
    SO, chances are the OP is wrestling with iCloud rather than with the Notes app.
     
  14. nightcap965 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #14
    My issue extends from iOS 9 / OSX El Capitan. I hesitate to complain about what it's like in the current incarnation of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, since they're beta, but I am having some difficulty with iCloud syncing. Some of that is due to the fact that there's no granularity in syncing Documents and Desktop to iCloud, so a big database that really oughtn't be synced to iCloud since the application syncs with DropBox slows things down. Hopefully that will be addressed in the release version.

    I've been syncing Photos, Music, Pages and Numbers for a long time, and have never had a problem with those. Only Notes misbehaves. I've just deleted everything, and will try again with a smaller subset when iOS 10 and macOS Sierra is officially released.
     

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