Evernote - Your Little Online Helper
Tested version: 1.3
Latest version: 5.0.5
Requires Android: from 1.6
Evernote acts as your online memory. Given the huge amount of information you're bombarded with every single day, this kind of online helper can be extremely useful. The program let's you save information, files, and audio notes. You can even store entire websites with highlighted keywords. Having total synchronization of all your devices is helpful in more ways than one. The Evernote Android app is yet another branch of the Evernote family. Find out whether it lives up to its big brother's reputation here.
Features & Use
Those of you familiar with Evernote, know what amazing capabilities this program has to offer. For those of you unacquainted with the wonderful world of Evernote, let me try to give you an overview of this cloud-based system.
Evernote is a synchronization service that is focused primarily on information of all sorts. Whether websites, text snippets, personal notes, pictures, audio recordings, or check-lists - all of it can be synchronised on different platforms and devices using Evernote. For this purpose, almost every single browser has a WebClipper extension, which lets you easily save information directly from the internet. The Evernote.com website is a crucial part of the entire service together with the PC/Mac application addition.
The Evernote Android app brings you many of Evenote's defining features. Using the snapshot feature, you add notes, tags, and notebooks to the cloud.
Files can also be added to the cloud. During my test this only worked with images and pdf-files. Audio and video files could not be displayed by the Evernote file browser.
Simple text notes as well as audio notes can be customized. The latter are saved in AMR file type, which is saves you on storage space, but lowers the overall recording quality. Most media players that I know have no problem playing this audio format, including the built-in Android player.
The app's real highlight is a feature with which your notes are linked to a specific location via GPS. Once you've activated this feature in your settings, you can select "Notes nearby” with your menu-button for any text note. This lets you view all notes made at your current location.
In my opinion, there are too many good functions hidden behind the menu button. A full list of all your notes can only be accessed by clicking on menu. This list includes all notes made with WebClipper or the PC/Mac application. Who could think synchronization could be so fun? Access, edit, or delete your individual notes at any time. Another big perk: you can send your recordings via email.
One thing that really bothers me with the Evernote app, is the fact that you can delete locked notes made with your desktop computer application. If you happen to forget to log out after using the app, someone could erase important notes without your knowledge. This problem could be alleviated by simply asking users to re-enter their password as a security precaution before deleting any important notes. A really unnecessary weak point, as far as I'm concerned.
Files saved to the Evernote server (audio, image, or pdf files) cannot be saved onto your Android device locally. That's a real bummer.
The app is intended almost entirely for online use. This means that it lacks an import/export function. Although I didn't have any problem with that, some people might find it annoying.
You've got the following options in your settings:
- Use GPS
- Use Network
- Snapshot resolution
The app offers all of the same features available with the desktop application. Nonetheless, this app is still a pretty sweet addition to the web version. I would like to hope that some of the app's weak spots will be repaired in future updates.
Screen & Controls
At first sight, you may think "Wow, this looks great!". Unfortunately, this initial impression quickly gives way to disappointment as soon as you start seriously using this app. Although the four large icons on the main screen are really well-positioned, many of the app's key features are hidden behind the menu button. It really drives me nuts having to constantly press the menu button, especially since the startscreen definitely has enough room for a couple more icons. Finally, the search field is located right below the "Create a new note" icon, which totally confused me.
The app's design is clean and clearly structured. The main screen, with its four large icons, is visually very well-done.
In my opinion, Evernote has the potential to become a huge hit on Android, if only the app's designers would pay a little more attention to details.
Speed & Stability
The app loads files from the internet and synchronizes notes every time you access them. All of this requires some time and it's very noticeable when you use the app. Simple text notes load quickly, but anything with a pdf or image attachment can take a while. All in all, the speed is not too bad.
During my entire test, I experienced one single crash. This occurred when I had tried to record an audio note that was over 2:00 minutes long. Except for this little incident, Evernote was reliable and stable.
Evernote can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.
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