Evernote Mobile gets a facelift

IMG_0074 As my Twitter followers know, I’ve been pretty peeved with Evernote recently. The iPhone client version has decided that it absolutely, positively will not complete a sync with the Evernote servers on my 3G. I’ve done everything I can, even sent my log files to the company (no response as of yet), and all of my toubleshooting comes down to the same thing. Even after a fresh reboot of my iPhone, with 30MB of RAM available (the most a 128MB 3G ever gets after loading the mobile version of OS/X), Evernote will fight for a while and then either spit up the error message you see here or just crash completely and dump be back to the homescreen, the typical reaction when an iPhone app runs out of RAM. (The new iPhone 3GS seems to run Evernote just fine, but then it would; it’s got 256MB of RAM, or five times the free RAM on boot as the 3G has, 150MB compared to 30MB.)

The problem with this is that up until just a couple days ago, the mobile web version of Evernote wasn’t all that impressive.

en3mobweb_main_list This was a pain in the ass to use on my Windows Mobile devices, and it’s a pain in the ass to use on my iPhone. It’s a simple WAP-style page that doesn’t do much. But hey, it worked on my iPhone when the dedicated client didn’t, so at least it was something. I only used it for looking up notes, opting to email new notes to my private Evernote email address when I wanted to create something new. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

Well, now it’s pretty too.

Main Screen The new version of the mobile web Evernote uses some nice iPhone/Androidish CSS to look far more professional, more like a real app than a web page. It even sports some slick new menus that are both touch friendly and easy to use.

Main Menu Note Menu

It’s a webapp rather than a native app, but that really isn’t a problem for me. I’m already using the Safari-optimized Gmail instead of the iPhone’s Mail client for reading my Gmail, the Safari-optimized Google Reader instead of Byline, and iPhone-friendly versions of Google News, AP News, GoodReads, Wikipedia, the list goes on and on. Using webapps instead of native clients is a way to multitask on the iPhone without jailbreaking and running Backgrounder since you can have up to eight pages open at a time. And the interface for managing them even bears a striking resemblance to managing cards on the Pre.

Only one problem remains, really. There is a JavaScript-based clipper available for Safari Mobile that allows you to send whatever you’re currently looking at to Evernote. The JavaScript looks like this:

javascript:location.href=’http://www.evernote.com/clip.action?url=’+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+’&title=’+encodeURIComponent(document.title);

And it works.

Clipped

The problem, as you can see above, is that this script directs you to the full size version of Evernote rather than a mobile page. This is especially awkward when trying to tag what you just clipped.

Tagging

I’ve tried every variation I can think of to merge the JavaScript above with the URL of the new mobile site:

https://www.evernote.com/mobile/MobileSetup.action?noRedirect=true

And nothing seems to work. So for now, I’m dealing with the awkward clipping in Safari, but pretty happy with the rest of the Evernote Mobile Web experience. So much so that I’m really not even all that worried about the iPhone client. The mobile web version does almost everything I need, and for the rest—photos and other multimedia—I can email stuff to Evernote. All I’m really missing is the iPhone client’s offline favorites, but I’ll live.

6 thoughts on “Evernote Mobile gets a facelift”

  1. I’m glad you found a decent Evernote solution. When the iPhone first came out everyone complained saying web apps weren’t real apps. In spite of these complaints, a couple web apps came out to be pretty darn good. Looks like the Evernote app is a good one.

    I still use the Weather Underground web app over one of the “thousand” weather apps in the app store. It can be found at:

    i.wund.com

    Also, most news sites (e.g. Fox news) have pretty good web apps as well (see http://iphone.foxnews.com/)

    Rob T

  2. Try using the Jott iPhone app. It ROCKS SOLID!!

    & offers so much more than Evernote does. Even though it is a paid subscription service, it can be pay as you go, or for basic plan which gives iPhone app that WORKS, has a great user interface, tons more features (e.g. Outlook, google calendar, twitter, facebook and 30+ other links) you can get the base sub for $3.95 per mo, less if you sub for a whole year.

    I may be a bit biased as I work there, (now a part of Nuance), but I live by it. I actually use the BB app which allows me to respond to my email from my blackberry device, also does my VM2Test etc

    Cheers,
    Bret Talbot

  3. Hi,
    I am a big fan of the Desktop version of Evernote. But the Windows mobile version is still a pain in the ass. You can’t even create a simple note offline. Even the older version could do that. Why did Evernote change that??
    My dream would really really come true, if I could store and view my notes offline, not just create them.
    But somehow, developers never listen to their customers… 🙁

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