Evernote for iPhone Gets a Monster Update, to Version 4.0

Evernote 4

Evernote has been one of the best, most powerful, and feature rich note-taking apps on the iPhone since the early days of the App Store. Today it has received a massive update and refresh. Evernote’s developers say that the brand new Version 4 is …

Our biggest iPhone and iPod Touch interface update ever

Here’s a little more background on this update, straight from the Evernote Blog:

Over the course of the two years, we’ve gained incredible insight into what makes an app great. What we learned is that our users want faster access, easier note creation, better browsing and more ways to find what they’re looking for. Put another way, getting stuff done should be a snap.

With that in mind, we went back to the drawing board and reconsidered every single aspect of Evernote for iPhone. We think you’re going to love the changes. With that, we give you Evernote 4

And here’s a rundown of the major changes in the update:

The new Home Screen and Snippet View

The first thing you’ll notice is that we have unified browsing and note creation in the application’s new home screen. Your notes list is now shown in Snippet View. This view maximizes the amount of information that is presented in a small amount of space. If a note is text only, then the app will show the title of the note and as much text as will fit into the snippet. If the note only contains an image, then we’ll take a slice out of the image and present it full width. If the note has a mix of text and other forms of content, then we’ll show you the title, some text and a thumbnail. This means that you’ll get more at a glance than ever, in many cases allowing you to skip opening the note entirely.

The new New Note screen

Gone are the big home screen tiles of old. They’ve been replaced with an ultra-functional New Note screen. When you tap the big plus, you’re presented with a split screen. The top half is your standard text entry area. The lower half lets you attach images and snapshots, record 90 minutes of audio, assign notebooks and tags and even set your location. You can now attach multiple items to a single note. So, if you’re sitting in a meeting or lecture, you can have notes, recorded audio and a whiteboard snapshot all in a single note.

To create a note on the audio recorder (one of my personal favorites): tap once to start recording, tap again to stop and attach the recorded audio to the note. Tapping a third time will start a new recording, which will become a second attachment.

Browsing by notebook and tag

This is a biggie. Many users have asked for a way to view a single notebook at a time. Now, you can. Both notebooks and tags are options along the lower tab bar. Select the notebook or tag you wish to view and that’s all you’ll see.

Resource views

Have you ever had that tip-of-the-tongue feeling? You’re trying to remember something and you almost have it, but not quite. The new Resource Views will cure that. When you have your list open, tap on the 2×2 box icon in the top right corner. All of the Resource Views relate to the current note list, so if you’re filtering by a specific notebook, then only those notes will show up.

  • Image view: This view displays all the images from all the notes. Tap on an image and the note will open.
  • Attachment view: This view displays a list of all the attached items (excluding images) contained in the notes
  • Map view: This view drops pins on a map for all notes with geo-location information. Tap the compass icon to find notes near your current location.
Search

Search now gets its own screen. That’s because all of your saved searches appear below the search bar. You can either create a new search or tap on a saved search using a desktop version of Evernote.

I installed the update this morning and have been trying it out a bit during the course of the day. Here’s a few screencaps of Evernote 4 in action on my iPhone:

Attachments

Images

Tags

NotesMap

I really like the new home screen layout. It feels much easier and faster to get to everywhere you want to go in the app.

I also really enjoy the resource views. The Notes Map view is just super cool – even though mine have never escaped the (Great) state of Texas.

Overall I think this refresh is very nice and makes Evernote a lot slicker to use.

The one disappointment for me is the look of things when creating / editing a text note:

EditaNote

It still feels kind of horrid and cramped. Yes it’s neat to be able to tap to quickly add a new or existing image, or a voice note, but it’s just not a screen that makes you feel like ‘hey, I can really get some notes written here’. This is something that has always plagued Evernote, always been its weakest link. I wish they would’ve done more on this in this huge update – especially as it is an entirely UI-focused update.

Here’s an App Store link for Evernote. It is still a free app.

What do you all think of the Evernote 4 and its fresh look? Liking?