Evernote redesigns Android app, adds photo and search features

The Android version of the note-taking app gets a crisp new look in its 5.0 update.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
2 min read
The redesigned Evernote for Android.
The redesigned Evernote for Android. Screenshot by Casey Newton/CNET

Evernote released a new version for Android today, bringing new photo and search features and a refreshed design to the popular note-taking app. Many of the features already exist in the iOS app, which was updated in November, but at least one is new to the company's mobile products.

The new multishot feature in Evernote for Android.

The update, which also includes useful new home screen widgets, went live in the Google Play store this morning. It comes on the heels of Google's release of the Keep note-taking service last week, a product that duplicates some Evernote features and that will integrate with Google Drive.

But about that Android update: A multishot feature lets users snap multiple photos of a moment, and save them to Evernote without ever leaving the in-app camera. Evernote is also bringing its "page camera" over from iOS, which uses the smartphone's camera to turn Evernote into a pocket scanner. The page camera finds the edges of scanned pages, removes any shadows and improves the contrast, Evernote says.

Android is the first mobile platform to get access to shortcuts, a helpful feature introduced recently in Evernote's Mac app. Frequently accessed notes and notebooks can be added to the app's left panel, saving users from having to dig through through their notebooks.

The company also introduced new features that take advantage of Evernote's partnership with the hip notebook maker Moleskine, which allow easier digitization of paper notebook pages into digital copies.

Users who pay for Evernote's premium service are also getting a document search feature that will index keywords in Microsoft Office, iWork and Open Office documents. Now any words found inside those documents will pop up when queried, just as Evernote already now searches through PDFs for keywords.

I prefer the look and feel of Evernote's new Android version to the iOS version, where the file-folders design metaphor often confuses me. The Android app's simple sliding panel mimics the feel of Evernote's excellent Mac app, where creating and searching notes is a breeze. With this latest redesign, Evernote may have created its best mobile experience to date.