In the last several months, the iOS versions of Evernote have undergone a significant overhaul of their user interfaces, closely mirroring the design and features of the counterpart web and Mac applications. We have added the iOS versions of Evernote to our Best of iPad Apps, and Best of iPhone Apps pages where they sit alongside our other picks for the platform.
The Homepage for both versions of the iOS Evernote apps includes section tabs for viewing Notebooks, Notes, Tags, andPlaces (a view of your notes by thelocation they were created.) There are also three Quick Notes buttons for creating text notes, shooting and adding photos directly into a note, and another camera features for scanning documents.
Tapping the Notes tab presents all your notes, sorted either by most recently updated, date created, or alphabetically by title. The iPad version of Evernote also includes a row at the top of the home page of your most recent notes that you can tap and access quickly. Previews of notes can be browsed in the List or Card view.
Because of the new card view, I typically try to add an image or graphic to my individually typed notes, which makes them more visual and easier to browse. In the browsing view of the Notes section, you can search notes, or tap the plus “+” button in the top-right to add a new note.
The Notebooks tab on the Homepage presents all your personal notebooks, notebook stacks (a collection of two more notebooks) and shared notebooks. In this browser view, you can also create new notebooks.
The Edit button at the top-right of this notebook section enables you to edit existing titles of notebooks, as well as share a public link to a selected notebook, or share the notebook with specific people. Sharing notebooks with specific individuals, however, requires a premium Evernote account. A URL link to a notebook means that the content of your shared notebook can be viewed in a web browser by anyone with the link. See my article for more details about sharing notebooks in Evernote and Springpad.
Unfortunately, the Notebooks browser is a little bland, lacking the visual context found in the Notes section.
Tags and Places
I tend to use Evernote mainly for current projects I’m working on, but if you find yourself frequently searching notes for current and past notes and other content, tagging notes might be of help to you.
Also, if you frequently create notes in various locations you travel, the Places feature may also be useful for quickly finding notes.
It goes without saying that notes can be created and edited in the iOS version of Evernote. The software keyboard of the iOS apps includes a collection of formatting tools (including bold, italics, check boxes and bulleted lists) as well as handy undo and redo buttons.
You can also add images to notes from your device’s photo library, or shoot photos using the app’s built-in camera. Individual notes can be shared to the usual places— Twitter, Message, Mail, or Print.
You can click on the little “i” icon at the top-right of a note to assign tags to a note, move it to another notebook, and view information about the date it was created and updated, as well as the geographic location of where it was added.
Using Evernote with a free account allows you to sync all of your notes between your computer and mobile devices, using the Evernote cloud service. Note that notes are not downloaded and installed on your iOS devices. You must have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to the Internet to view them on those devices. Premium account users do get the option to download all of their Evernote content totheir iOS devices for offline viewing.
Unfortunately, you can’t selectively target individual notes for offline viewing, as you can with files in the mobile version of Dropbox.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of using Evernote and its cloud service is that your notes get synced between your Mac, PC, and iOS devices. The service and apps are also supported by a growing collection of third-party applications and web browser plug-ins that enable you to more conveniently add notes and other content to your Evernote account.