Evernote's Big iOS Update Includes Rich-Text Editing, Gets Thumbs up from Chris Pirillo

Evernote, which allows users to save and search their notes across devices, has updated its iPhone and iPad apps to support rich text (see above), shared notebooks, password locks and more, in addition to a Lion-specific Mac update. Evernote first released an iPad app in April 2010.

"The update is simply incremental -- further entrenching Evernote as the definitive note-taking application," Evernote user and technology strategist Chris Pirillo tells LAUNCH via email. "The redesign was overdue, as is the case for most applications which have evolved over time. Perhaps now my dad will begin to use it instead of relying on a REAL notepad!"

After raising one of the largest rounds in Q3 ($50M), Evernote acquired Skitch last week to improve annotations and give its 10M+ users a better image-sharing experience.

The iOS 4.1 update allows users to bold, italicize and underline text, create headers and add hyperlinks to notes. Users can now edit any note that contains rich text created on the device or that contains styles available on iOS.

The UX update for OS X Lion aims to unify Evernote applications across multiple platforms. The full screen mode on Mac closely resembles the new "All Notes" view on iPad and integrates a favorites bar.

"Thanks to the Lion changes, we're even able to reuse parts of our iOS codebase, so you'll be seeing lots of concept-exchange between our apps in the future," Evernote Director of Marketing Andrew Sinkov writes on the Evernote blog.

Although the Mac 3.0 update is only fully functional on OS X Lion, users on older versions will still get some under-the-hood improvements, but not any of the visual components like the full-screen mode or the new favorites bar.

In regards to the iOS updates, Andrew notes there are some limitations to the iPad app's rich-text editing capabilities.

"You won't be able to make direct changes to notes that contains more complex styles than what can be made in Evernote for iOS," he explains. "These may include web clips, other typefaces or tables."

While Pirillo was positive, game developer Nick Sakellariou reported problems: "Offline notebooks still don't synchronize fully in the iPad Evernote client," he tweeted. "Several notebooks give error messages on sync."

Other iOS updates include the ability to view shared notebooks on the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Any note viewed in a Shared Notebook will be stored locally on the user's device although users cannot create or edit notes just yet.

The update also enables users to search within individual notes, rather than solely across the entire account as a whole, and features the new Slideshow View so users view only the images attached to a particular note.

Additionally, the iPad app received an "All Notes" layout makeover, with notes now displayed as snippets that users can pinch and zoom.

Premium Evernote users can now add an extra layer of security to notes by password-protecting the app.

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