Much as I have mad love for Evernote, I've always found its apps to be a little, well, challenged in the usability department. Not much to look at, either.
With the newly released Evernote 4.0 for Android, all that changes. And as an iPhone user, I've rarely been more jealous.
The update brings a completely new look to the smartphone version of the app, starting with a beautifully overhauled home screen. It not only provides one-tap icons for creating a new note, snapshot, recording, or attachment, but also gives you quick access to your existing notes, notebooks, tags, and places. It's a simple, effective, attractive design.
Navigation has been improved as well: you can now swipe from the home screen to your note list and back again -- a fine improvement over the previous back-button method. Also, you can swipe between notebook, tag, and place views, another welcome tweak.
Evernote's redesigned note list is a little cleaner, with a smarter, easier-to-"figger" toolbar, but I miss the high-contrast section headers. Now everything just sort of blends together. That's one change I could have lived without.
The tablet version, which I tested on a rooted Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, employs a cool tiled interface that's a bit reminiscent of Flipboard. There's no swiping as with the smartphone version, but overall I like its cleaner, more straightforward approach to note lists and management.
My only hope is that the fugly, awkward iPhone version of Evernote gets this same makeover very soon. Evernote the service is awesome, but Evernote the iOS app needs some work.