Simplenote is reborn: the first major notes app is back

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“This launch will be a bit controversial,” said Johnston, “because we’ve removed some things and disabled premium upgrades.” Current premium subscribers will be allowed to continue syncing Dropbox for their notes, but Simplenote does not allow new users to pay. “We can’t reactivate the premium until we can find meaningful value that we can deliver,” he says. “Maybe it’s Dropbox again, or themes, or…” Witkin interrupts him. One quote I emphasized in Jony Ive’s iOS 7 design video is, “True simplicity comes from so much more than having no clutter and no ornamentation. It’s about putting order in complexity. “”

Witkin’s choice of quotes is trite, but true. As competitors like Evernote have gotten bigger and have the features to record voice notes, web clips, and locations, it has become harder and harder to get in and write a list of things you need to. do or write down the races you have to choose. up. “Evernote is a great app,” says Johnston, “but as Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg always says,“ You don’t open a letter with a chainsaw. “” For the act of creating text notes – just type and have them instantly appear on all your devices – Simplenote is hard to beat precisely for the few other things it does.

“Evernote is a great app, but as Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg always says, ‘You don’t open a letter with a chainsaw.'”

It’s all made possible by Simperium, which Automattic’s Mullenweg says will soon be part of everything the company does. “Simplenote and WordPress share a key characteristic: they are about writing,” says Mullenweg. “They both aspire to become invisible and to be a canvas for your creativity. WordPress has outperformed its competition year after year because we focus ruthlessly on the author’s experience, and I’ve seen the same spirit in Simplenote. “

Mullenweg will not say if and how he hopes to turn Simplenote into a profitable business. For now, he says he’s just a user, delighted that the app is working again. Simplenote doesn’t want to be Google Docs, and has no qualms about having a more limited reach than Evernote. Which route it will take, if any, is difficult to predict. But for now, Simplenote version 2 is a solid 1.0 experience. For the legions of users praying that Simplenote didn’t just melt into the haze, that’s all they asked for.


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