Evernote Begins Testing Collect Feature in Android App Update

Evernote for Android

A new update to the Evernote app for Android is rolling out today in the Google Play Store.  While the version 7.17 of the productivity and note taking app is mostly a bug fix release, there is a new feature showing up for some users, Collect.

Collect, according to the release notes, allows you to save images containing text that you want to remember later.  Evernote will save it then you can search for it, and presumably the text inside the image, later in the app or online.  The release notes indicate that the feature works with whiteboards, receipts, document and anything with text.

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Evernote Update Brings Advanced Editing Features to Android

Evernote for Android

Evernote has begun rolling out a healthy update to their Android app that brings several improvements on editing of notes.  The update, version 7.9.9 for phones for those keeping score, adds the ability for strikethrough, subscript and superscript text in notes.  These text styles were available on the Mac or PC version of the Evernote app, and were visible in the mobile versions, but you couldn’t actually add them in the Android app.  Now you can just like you can on your laptop.

Improvements have also been made to the camera function of the app.  Now it can automatically detect and capture business cards, documents, whiteboards, Post-it® Notes and receipts.  Just enable the camera function in the app, point it at what you need to capture and it will do the rest for you.

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Evernote Reverses Course on Privacy Policy Changes

Evernote for Android

After several days of customer and general tech community backlash, Evernote has reversed their policy that would have allowed a select number of their employees read your notes.  The change was announced late last night on the Evernote Blog where it is made clear, in bold, that employees will not be able to read your notes without your express permission.  Good.

In addition, we will make machine learning technologies available to our users, but no employees will be reading note content as part of this process unless users opt in. We will invite Evernote customers to help us build a better product by joining the program.

Frankly, this is how this should have been in the first place and it is good to see the company respond to consumers and their customers.

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Evernote Privacy Policy Change Gives Employees Access to Your Notes

Evernote for Android

Evernote has announced a policy change that goes into effect on January 27, 2017.  In that change, the company outlines that a limited number of Evernote employees could access and read your notes as part of their “oversight of machine learning” that the company has deployed.  And, more or less, you can’t do much about it.  The company has provided an opt-out for this new machine learning process but even if you opt-out, employees could still access your notes.

Not cool on so many different levels.

So first, not every employee can access your notes.  The list is small but there is a bit of a mystery as to what gets an employee on that list and how often they could access your information.  In the broader Privacy Policy of Evernote, they list the following as reasons that your account could be accessed by employees:

  • We believe our Terms of Service has been violated and confirmation is required or we otherwise have an obligation to review your account Content as described in our Terms of Service;
  • We need to do so for troubleshooting purposes or to maintain and improve the Service;
  • Where necessary to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and its users (including to protect against potential spam, malware or other security concerns); or
  • In order to comply with our legal obligations, such as responding to warrants, court orders or other legal process. We vigilantly protect the privacy of your account Content and, whenever we determine it possible, we provide you with notice if we believe we are compelled to comply with a third party’s request for information about your account. Please visit our Information for Authorities page for more information.

The problem is, especially with the first three on this list, that could be left up to interpretation.  Basically an employee on this list could claim that they believe ToS is being violated and access your account.

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Evernote Announces Google Cloud Platform Migration

Evernote has announced that they have selected the Google Cloud Platform as their choice for data storage and usage, replacing their own server farms and data centers.  The news is another big win for Google’s cloud services which has gained a number of high profile customers over the course of the past 18 months.  Adding Evernote to that mix will not only add another marque for them but will bring additional support and reliability for Evernote customers.

Until now, Evernote has owned, configured, and maintained its own servers and networks. This approach gave us the ability to build the service we wanted the way we wanted to build it. But it is also limiting—expensive to maintain, slow to upgrade, and difficult to scale. And while the infrastructure we have now is perfectly suited to support Evernote as it runs today, it lacks the speed and flexibility we need for tomorrow.

Essentially the move is about future proofing the company’s services yet continuing to support the existing 200 million users of the service today.

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Evernote Announces Price Increases

On their blog today, Evernote has announced pricing changes for their two pay tiers as well as change to their free basic tier.  The prices go into effect immediately for new customers who sign up starting today while those who already have an account will see the price increase starting August 15th.  For the free basic tier, functionally the program remains pretty much the same although you are now limited to syncing to two devices.  Those two device can be a PC or a phone, a phone and tablet, a PC and a tablet, etc.  You get the idea:  two devices only.  The basic tier also has the free PIN locking of your account on your devices, which became a part of the free tier earlier this month.

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Evernote Brings Passcode Locking to All Users

In a move that makes all kinds of sense, Evernote has moved the premium feature of being able to lock your note with a passcode to their free tier.  This means every users of the service can lock their notes from prying eyes.  This is great to see as it corrects something I personally never liked about Evernote:  Security should not be a premium option.  It should be there by default.

I have been a user of the service since 2011 and a premium user of the service (for other reasons) so the ability to associate a PIN with the app has always been there for me.  It prevents anyone from picking up your phone, opening the app, and reading your notes.  It is simple yes but does the job.  In my mind, Evernote has corrected a wrong with this change.

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Microsoft Previews Evernote Import Tool for OneNote

For long time Evernote users, the thought of leaving the service is daunting if for no other reason that the fear of losing notes and notebooks or, even worse, having to copy and paste all those notes into a new app.  That is the scenario that faced me at the beginning of this year.  As a long time Evernote user, my company standardized on Office 365, of which OneNote is a part of the suite.  In my case, I simply started using OneNote January 1st while I kept my notes in Evernote simply so I could avoid this problem.  Microsoft it seems has heard this dilemma from a lot of people and on Friday announced a new Evernote import tool for OneNote.

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