Evernote 2.0 for Android: Notes Leave the Cloud

The folks at Evernote have rolled out version 2.0 of the Android mobile client, a major update that lets premium users keep notebooks on the phone for access without network connectivity. The new version integrates more closely with Android than previous versions, with Google (s goog) search results showing returns from the user’s own Evernote notes alongside normal Google search results.

Evernote is the cross-platform freemium note-taking system that has millions of users. While the Mac and Windows desktop clients are robust, the mobile clients (for most smartphone platforms) have been more limited in functionality, designed primarily to provide simple note-taking capability on the go and access to the cloud storage. Evernote 2.0 for Android extends the mobile capability, and adds the ability to fully reference the user’s stored notes along with extended note creation functions.

I have been using an advance copy of Evernote 2.0 on my Android phone, and the interface is very clean. It is easier to do most things with this version than in earlier renditions of the mobile client. Notes can take several forms — text notes entered via the onscreen keyboard, images snapped with the phone camera and audio notes recorded. The latter can be recorded while text notes are being entered to help capture the information that needs explanation.

The major feature added in this new version is the ability for paid account holders to tag Evernote notebooks for downloading to the Android phone. This provides full access to notes, along with all images and audio recordings, even when there is no network connection. Users can have access to important notebooks while on a flight without web connectivity. All notes created on the phone are also stored locally for both free and paid account holders, making all mobile notes available without access to the network.

The entire user experience with Evernote 2.0 is very fast and fluid, and it is easier to work with lots of notes than ever before. The first time this Android app is run it syncs with the user’s cloud notes, a process that can take some time for a lot of notes, but once this is done access to all notes is lightning fast. Thumbnails of each note are stored on the phone for instant previews of each, making it easy to find the information needed. When a search returns multiple notes, it is now possible to swipe through the results to find the desired note.

Evernote 2.0 for Android is a big leap forward in utility for those with lots of notes in the Evernote cloud. The ease of use makes working with the notes more productive than earlier versions, and the ability to access notes locally is not a trivial feature. Capturing information into Evernote has always been its strong point, and that is now fully extended to the Android platform.

Evernote 2.0 is now available for free download in the Android Market. Note that the Evernote Premium account that is required for local notebook access also provides 500 MB of note uploads per month for $5 per month or $45 annually.

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