Evernote was bought by Italian app maker Bending Spoons • The Register

Notes app Evernote, once a favorite of busy tech fans, today announced the end of 14 years as an independent company with its sale to Italian mobile app company Bending Spoons.

It’s an undignified end for the once-great Evernote, which as recently as 2018 – its tenth anniversary – boasted around 225 million registered users. It’s unclear how many are using the app now, with Bending Spoons only saying in a press release that the app has “millions of paying customers.”

Evernote CEO Ian Small said the decision is a strategic step forward for Evernote and that Bending Spoons “has built a remarkable, financially strong business with the ability and resources to drive Evernote forward.”

“Our commitment to keeping your data safe remains as steadfast as ever, and the Evernote you know and love will continue to thrive,” said Small.

Bending Spoons offers several mobile apps that are said to be used by around 100 million users a month. Products include multiple video and photo editing apps, as well as exercise and yoga apps. Bending Spoons has also been commissioned by the Italian government to develop its COVID-19 tracing app.

The silent, gradual fall of a titan

When Evernote launched in 2008, it was one of the first cloud-synced note-taking apps out there, making it an instant favorite for people who have a hot new iPhone 3G or T-Mobile G1 alongside a desktop for work use.

The company had a fortunate few years of growth — apart from the occasional cloud hack or DDoS attack — and didn’t really land much trouble from users until 2016, when it decided to take the ax to its free tier.

Evernote’s “Basic” tier this year introduced restricted users who didn’t want to pay to sync just two devices and upload just 60MB of content per month. Starting today, Free Tier users are also limited to a maximum size of 25MB per note.

2016 was arguably the year things took a turn for Evernote. It’s also the year Evernote finally ditched its internal cloud service and switched to Google Cloud, and the year the company made what was probably its worst mistake.

In December 2016, Evernote informed users that it had developed an AI system that would review notes, as well as data from other sources, to customize the user experience. Evernote collaborators were also able to access user notes as part of the update.

Needless to say, there was a massive outcry and many people dropped the platform. Evernote rolled back its plans, which included requiring users to opt out of privacy breaches, within a day of launch.

Fast forward to 2020, and Evernote headlines have largely consisted of wondering what has become of the once-dominant platform. Evernote was planning a comeback in 2020 with the release of its version 10, but reactions to the full redesign in the release appear to have been overwhelmingly negative — at least from Vocal users.

Evernote is now barely on the mobile app radar. On iOS, for example, it doesn’t even rank among the top 100 productivity apps.

Small points to another reason Evernote may have lost its shine in recent years: a lack of new features. “Our new collaborative editing feature…is in the early days of beta testing worldwide. At the same time, we are within weeks of beta testing our new support for Office 365 calendars,” said Small. Collaborative document editing has been around for a long time and isn’t exactly something to brag about in 2022.

Whether Evernote will emerge stronger from this sale is unclear. It’s also not clear what changes in terms of pricing and features may result from the sale. Evernote users – however numerous or few – will have to wait until 2023, when sales end, to find out. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/17/evernotes_fall_from_grace_ends/ Evernote was bought by Italian app maker Bending Spoons • The Register

Rick Schindler

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