About Crazy @Evernote Pricing

I like Evernote and I use it constantly. I was using it today, in fact when – BOOM! – in the middle of a meeting, without any warning, a notice came up in my iPhone app that blocked my access to my notes and said my subscription has just ended. Like, literally, that very second, right in the middle of that very meeting.

I couldn’t do anything with Evernote until I renewed my subscription.

Okay, but, excuse me, Evernote? I’m kind of in a meeting right now…? Can I finish taking notes and deal with this later, please? Apparently not.

After the meeting I go back to my desk. I open Evernote on my Mac. BOOM! Another “renew now or else” notice pops up. That was kind of expected. But, hey, waitaminnit… the subscription fee is different. On the iPhone they wanted $70. On the Mac they want $50.

This is disconcerting. Enough that I want to sort out the discrepancy. But I’m working. I decide to deal with it later. (Plus, I think I have an unused code in the back of an old Evernote Moleskine at home that’ll get me a few free months…)

Back home, I find the Moleskine with the code, log in to the Evernote web site to try and use it and – BOOM – hammered again with that renewal notification. But, hey, there’s another different number on this renewal notice: $58.

I know I need to renew Evernote. Heck, I want to renew Evernote. Right now I just want to give them money and get on with my life. But I’m confused. This doesn’t make sense.

I hate giving money to companies that confuse and frustrate me.

There are three different rates I’ve seen for the same Premium service.

  • Evernote app on iPhone: $70
  • Evernote app on Mac: $50
  • Evernote web site: $58

Evernote Premium Price Quandary

Which do I choose?

You’re thinking, duh: the cheapest one. But here’s the catch: I’m in Canada. So if that $50 subscription is in US dollars, that’s like a million dollars Canadian. Okay, not quite that much. But it’s a full $70, the same as the highest price.

So the new, added question is: what currency are these fees being charged in?

I could make some assumptions. Like, because iPhone apps have to charge fees through the App Store, and my account is with the Canadian App Store, that’s $70 Canadian.

And it might be that the subscription fees identified in the Mac app and Evernote web site are US dollars, right? (In which case, anyway, shouldn’t the rates in the Mac app and the web site be the same?)

Or maybe Evernote directly charges its customers in their local currency?

I don’t know. It’s all very confusing.

I tried getting in touch with Evernote today for an answer but they were incommunicado.

In the meantime, until I am empowered with the knowledge that will clear up this clusterfuck of a pricing dilemma, the Evernote apps are blocking my access to my notes. Which totally sucks.

About Labelling (Kids’ Soccer Teams During a Tournament)

My son is refereeing a few games during a kids’ soccer tournament this weekend. He reffed his first two games last night.

When he went to the scorekeeper’s table after the games to report the scores, he reported the teams based on the colour of their shirts, the only quality he had to go with. The woman managing the scorekeeping table asked what “team number” each team was. Another young woman entered the conversation and referred to the teams by their sponsors. All of a sudden there were three labelling methodologies in play for these kids’ soccer teams:

  1. Shirt colour
  2. Team number
  3. Sponsor name

That’s pretty complicated for a soccer tournament for 7- to 9-year olds. It all got sorted out, but the conversation to communicate the final scores was like something out of an Abbot and Costello routine.

Is the iPad just a poor man’s laptop?

I have no doubt that Apple’s head honcho, Steve Jobs, uses his iPad au naturel.

But I’m not so sure the rest of the world is buying into his less-is-more philosophy. Even as the world has already become overburdened with iPod and iPhone cases, we seem to be entering an era of iPad keyboards.

Oddly, most of this new niche of iPad accoutrement seems to be designed to make everyone’s favourite slab of glass less like a tablet and more like a laptop.

Regard:

Adonit takes the minimalist approach with their folio-like case

Adonit takes the minimalist approach with their folio-like Writer case

Qmadix is all-in on the laptop replacement look with their "Portfolio with Removable Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 2"

Qmadix is all-in on the laptop replacement look with their "Portfolio with Removable Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 2"

Zagg pretty much opened up the floodgates of this market with their "Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2"

Zagg pretty much opened up the floodgates of this market with their "Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2"

The Crux Loaded doesn't leave any doubt that laptop replacement is the goal. Their demo images even depict an iPad running a full version of Photoshop.

The Crux Loaded doesn't leave any doubt that laptop replacement is the goal. Their demo images even depicts an iPad running a full version of Photoshop.

So what’s your take? Are these manufacturers on to something — is the iPad a laptop wannabe?

Or is the iPad at its best a la Jobs: without any add-ons?

Is the Smart Phone the Modern Oracle?

There’s no debating that “google” is a verb. If you wondering about something, you just open a web browser and “google it.”

But for my 7-year-old son and the small circle of friends and cousins he hangs out with, whenever I’m around and they want to know something (that I don’t automatically know), they tell me to, “Ask the iPhone.”

And I might Google it for them, or I might use an app. But I inevitably get them an answer that satisfies whatever question they asked within a minute. (The last one was, “Ask the iPhone how many minutes there are in a year, Dad.” The answer is 525,948.766, by the way. And I got that from Bing, oddly enough.)

The point being that, because we carry our permanently internet-connected devices with us all the time, the window through which we peer at information has been lifted from the platform to the device level. For an emerging generation it’s not all about Google’s robust informational data store as it was for us early inhabitants of the web. It’s about the multitudinous entry points to knowledge that a mobile, connected device affords us.

Off We Go, Haltingly, Into the Post-PC Era

We’re firmly into what’s commonly called the “Post-PC” era.

The iPad has sparked the gradual demise of both desktop and notebook computers. The mouse-click of yore has become the finger-tap of tomorrow, and the screen itself is now our primary means of inputting data into a computer.

Meanwhile, the “cloud” – aka the internet – has evolved into our primary information storage medium.

We have less and less need for local storage facilities like hard drives and DVDs. The more information we deposit into the cloud, the easier it is to access and manage.

There’s no doubt that the iPad as a device is truly revolutionary and has turned the technology industry upside down. Meanwhile, the cloud is redefining how and where we store our most valuable information.

Unfortunately, both new computing paradigms are weighed down heavily by the legacy of the PC.

And that’s extremely frustrating. Continue reading

Is Apple Killing the Mac?

By far, Apple’s great success has been its mobile devices: the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad.

The popularity and tremendous sales of these devices have overshadowed the company’s legacy Mac platform in recent years.

That’s lead a lot of people to wonder if Apple is phasing out the Mac OS in favour of the iOS.

It’s an interesting question, and one that deserves consideration.

Is Apple killing the Mac? Continue reading

iPad Screen-Top Keyboard Idea

So I was laying in bed with my iPad the other night trying to jot down some notes from the day and I was frustrated by the experience. With the iPad cradled on my belly, it was really difficult to cram my hands down under the keyboard to type comfortably.

And to be perfectly honest, I have some difficulty typing on the keyboard even when sitting up with the iPad on my lap. It’s not as easy as Apple makes it look in the commercials.

Then it occurred to me that the positioning of the keyboard below the text you’re writing is a throwback to the days of the notebook computer. It doesn’t have to be down there. The keyboard on an iPad can be displayed anywhere on the screen. So I figured, why not adjust its position to better accommodate different typing positions (like laying in bed)?

So I mocked this puppy up (based on a screen grab from the excellent SimpleNote):

I figured that your arms will naturally spread apart to make the “page” you’re typing on visible while providing more natural accessibility to the keyboard itself.

To provide a glimpse of my idea in action, here’s a shot of me “typing” on my mockup.

Pretending to type on the inverted iPad keyboard.Playing make-believe on the mock-up makes me feel like it’s a solid idea, so I’m posting it to the public domain in hopes that a developer currently producing a note-taking or word processing app (SimpleNote? Evernote? Hog Bay? Heck, Apple?) on the iPad will borrow it and make it real. If you are one of those people, I’ve got a slew of other ideas on how to implement, if you want those, too. Just drop me a line.

If you do borrow the idea and implement it, please let me know – I’ll be first in line to buy the app!

UPDATE:

One thing I forgot to mention when I originally posted this. My hands, situated above the “page” I was typing on, acted as a sort of visor that reduced glare and reflection on the portion of the screen that my eye were focused on (that is, the “page”). Just another little bonus to having the keyboard up there.

Update 2:

So it occurs to me that another benefit of a top-screen keyboard (I like that term better, too) is privacy. Your hands and arms would naturally provide a screen.