Anybody else confused about Evernote’s end game?
This actually seems like a highly logical move for Evernote and a smart strategy. Evernote wants to be our external brain and our brain tends to capture a variety of media in a variety of ways. That doesn’t always lend itself to a single application. As it continues to evolve, I see a world where Evernote’s prime offering becomes less about capture more about storage and recall. The app, both on OS X and iOS has always been an impressive step towards ubiquitous capture, but it always falls short in certain areas. This left Evernote with three options:
- Stop expanding their offerings, continue to improve on them, but limit their potential.
- Continue to add features, bloating the main offering and making it far less tempting to use.
- Create or acquire applications that offer a focused and optimized experience that act as part of a larger ecosystem.
I believe the acquisition of Penultimate is yet another step towards the latter.
One of my biggest problems with Evernote has always been the feeling that I am crossing streams. I don’t want to blend notes, sketches, recipes, contacts and more, I’m already disorganized enough. Sure, I could create folders (or use a naming convention) that separates all of these things, but that’s not how I like to work. I tend to use my applications as filters. Different apps for different intentions, so the idea of keeping things separate, while also storing them together is a tempting one.
I enjoy the separation that comes from using Evernote Hello for contacts, Evernote Food for recipes, Skitch for taking and annotating screenshots and now Penultimate for handwritten notes (not to mention Evernote’s already impressive core functionality). It provides a focused experience in an optimized app when I want it, as well as universal access in the main Evernote application when I need it.
Related side note: anyone care to take bets that a dedicated text editor can’t be all that far behind?
Cloud offerings such as Dropbox and iCloud offer the storage, but neither focuses on capture (although both work with several applications that do). By providing integrated options that focus on all aspects of capture, Evernote sets themselves apart from these platforms.
This will sound a little lofty, but these latest steps echo things we’ve seen in Apple’s own ecosystem. Owning the end-to-end experience between hardware and software has always helped set them apart. While I don’t think Evernote is going into hardware anytime soon, I can’t help but wonder if they are looking to do something similar by not only providing the platform, but by creating or acquiring the applications that make the experience better.