Evernote Blackberry Client Launched

by Ben Smith on 11th May 2009

Update: For those struggling to find Evernote in the App World, Evernote have posted direct download links too.


On Friday I met with Phil Libin, CEO for Evernote.  Evernote is a web-based service which allows you to store clippings of text, image or audio content (or mixtures of all three) ‘in the cloud’.  In this regard it’s falry unremarkable, however the quality of the download-able clients for Mac and PC make it stand-out in along with its unique feature – that any image content uploaded is ‘optically character recognised’ and is searchable just like text.  I snapped this image recently at a local train station.

bensmith's notebook - 1 note

Evernote OCR

Today they’re announcing the release of their native Blackberry client to the App World, following the success of their iPhone client.  Similar to the iPhone version this application offers one-click ways to upload text, images and audio clips to your Evernote account as well as ways to tag and view existing items.  I asked Phil why had Evernote gone to the expense of developing another dedicated client when the mobile web version was both already available?  It was, he said,  for two main reasons – firstly the speed and convenience of a dedicated application, with its direct hooks into the camera and the microphone, it provided a ‘lower friction’ way to allow users to add content.  Also, because of the capabilities of the Blackberry platform this version would provide continuous synchronisation in the background and the ability to upload files from the phone’s storage – neither of which was currently possible with the iPhone.

Evernote iPhone

The other main reason, he said, was user discovery – the iPhone app store and now the Blackberry marketplace gave users a great way to discover the Evernote application, which in turn brought consumers to their other platforms.  Over 50% of Evernote users used more than one platform and 20% used three or more.  Phil explained that their original mobile client had actually been for Windows Mobile, although they had seen relatively low uptake – only a few thousand users.  With the launch of the iPhone client that attracted tens of times more users in the first few days for a far smaller investment in the creation of the application.  This was, he explained, now the basis for Evernote’s mobile strategy and they would be launching Nokia and Android versions ‘soon’ now those platforms had app stores of their own. The other option was to work with handset manufacturers to bundle Evernote on devices – hitting the million-user mark soon and two million users by the end of the year would, he hoped, make that a realistic prospect.

The verdict: I’ve been a user of Evernote as a place to store notes for some time now – all my Spinvox voicemail transcriptions are emailed there – and using my G1 Android handset I certainly miss the convenience of the dedicated client so check this new release out if you are a Blackberry user.  However, for me it’s the potential of the increasing number of 3rd party services – 400 developers are registered to use the API – that really excites me about this service: adding audio note searching, image annotation and sharing and collaboration features that will really take this service to the next level.

Regular accounts are free and provide 40MB of upload a month so give it a try.  Alternatively, for more information on Evernote listen to Phil speaking to Rory Cellan-Jones at the BBC earlier in the week or get a sneak video preview of the client in the YouTube video announement.

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