On the new Simplenote

Last week we relaunched Simplenote, an app Automattic acquired along with Simperium earlier this year. The coverage so far has been really overwhelming with great articles:

But, even after my foray into Simplenote alternatives and doing research and trying out other note-taking apps, I’ve stuck with Simplenote as my iOS note-taking app of choice. […] However, I could consolidate them all into just one app if I had to. And that app would be Simplenote. The reason I’d choose Simplenote is because it’s a quick, easy-to-use app with great search and it has fast, reliable sync.

Shawn Blanc: The New Simplenote Apps

Go check it out. For me it was easy – even though I dropped Simplenote, I had kept NVAlt syncing with it in anticipation of an update as good as this one. I launched it, logged in and a few moments later I was back up and running. Best of all, Simplenote is back on my first home screen.

Charlie Sorrel: Like Rocky, Simplenote Is Back In Front After Years Of Neglect

Simplenote has always kept the focus on content — your content. With a bare minimum chrome in its apps, Simplenote has stayed away from flashy gradients, big UI elements and detailed icons and instead, has offered a minimal, mostly white user interface to its users. I liked everything about Simplenote, so paying for its Premium subscription and supporting the service was a no brainer for me.

Preshit Deorukhkar: Simplenote — The Perfect Notes App Suite

Also the Simplenote for Mac app rising in the app store listing. I am excited about all of this above and beyond what any rational measure would support.

Probably the most comprehensive was by Ellis Hamburger in the Verge, Simplenote reborn: the first great notes app is back. I’d recommend reading the entire thing. Ellis asked me a number of questions via email and I’d like to share the entirety with you here:

What is so compelling about Simplenote, and why exactly was it worth “reviving?”

From the day I first used Simplenote it felt like a breath of fresh air in a crowded sea of cluttered apps. I use and rely on the service every day. We do many things at Automattic, but our core passion is creating great products. When we see something we feel isn’t our best work it bugs us until we’re able to loop back and iterate on it — it’s a blessing and a curse. This latest iteration of Simplenote on Android, OS X, and iOS is something we’re all very excited about sharing with the world.

How big a role did Simplenote play in Automattic acquiring Simperium?

It depends on how you look at it: I probably would have never heard of Simperium if it wasn’t for Simplenote, and the app really demonstrates the power of the Simperium API and the tastefulness of the people who created it. But the bigger interest was in what we could build alongside Fred and Mike on top of Simperium across all our products.

Where do Simplenote and Simperium fit with Automattic? Will any of each service’s features make their way into your other products, like WordPress, or do you intend to operate them separately?

Simplenote and WordPress share one key characteristic: they’re about writing. They both aspire to become invisible and be a canvas for your creativity. WordPress has succeeded above its competitors year after year because we’re ruthlessly focused on the experience of the author, and I saw the same spirit in Simplenote. It fits in Automattic like a glove.

One of the keys of Simplenote is, well, its simplicity. I think as we integrate it more with the broader Automattic ecosystem it’ll look more like Simplenote inside of WordPress rather than vice versa. It’s all backed by an easy-to-integrate API so if people want something more complex someone will build a client for that.

Simperium is at the core of several new things we’re either building or hope to build in the near future. We’re investing quite a bit to make the service robust and flexible for our needs as a top-ten internet site, and that development will benefit everyone who uses the service much the same way our investment in anti-spam benefits the internet at large through Akismet. You will start to see the Simperium engine make its way into almost everything we do.

Will Simplenote someday be a fruitful business? If so, how?

The beauty of Simplenote being under Automattic’s wing is that we are already blessed with incredibly fruitful businesses in WordPress.com, Akismet, and VaultPress. The biggest thing I didn’t like about the old app was the ads, and as you’ve noticed those are gone in this new version. Our main goal is to pour our heart into something and make it great, then it with the world. I find Simplenote indispensable, delightful, and use it every day, and I hope you will too.

That’s that, I hope that you check out Simplenote and give it a try. It’s now available for Android, iOS 7, and Mac.

18 thoughts on “On the new Simplenote

  1. Unfortunately the new iOS version of Simplenote us unusable. On my iPhone 5 it takes a second from the touch on the screen until the cursor appears. Please read the users comments on the Simplenote blog and make them fix the problems asap. Thanks!

  2. Hi Matt,

    I love Simplenote since day one and I am using it a LOT every day on my iPhone and sync it with nvALT on my Mac.

    I was happy to hear that there will be a new iOS and a new Mac version so I downloaded both of them on day one.

    After just 5 minutes of using them I switched back to the previous version of Simplenote for iOS and nvALT. The reason: I am color blind and it is almost impossible for me to see which note is selected. It’s worse on iOS than on the Mac and I’m using retina iPhone and retina Mac.

    Also, the Mac app keeps on going back to the top of the note each time you switch to another note. Please ask the team to fix these or let me be able to choose the font size to make it more visible.


  3. Here’s more from Lifehacker talking about Simplenote:


    Evernote (and apps like it) aren’t for everyone. They’re complicated, take a while to use, and since they can handle everything, it often takes longer to open up the app and get to a note then it does to actually write that note. If that sounds too complicated, plain text might be the best way for you to take notes.

    We talk a lot about plain text because, as the name suggests, it’s just text. For people who only take text notes, plain text is usually the most efficient way to do it. To get the job done, we’re fans of the plain text capture tool (that just got a fantastic update), Simplenote.

  4. Hello Matt,

    I am interested in the simperium API. I plan to use it on a web application.
    But I usually prefer to use PHP APIs.

    Will there be a PHP API coming up soon for Simperium ? How are you going to integrate is with WordPress, via the Javascript API ?

    Kind regards


  5. I use evernote on my android phone because of the extra features it offers, but if simplenote were to integrate wordpress login I’d definitely switch to it.

  6. Hi Matt.

    I’m a longtime Simplenote user. Congratulations on a terrific purchase. Do you have plans to bring back or expand Markdown support in Simplenote?


    1. Markdown is definitely one of the more popular requests, but as a plain-text editor that doesn’t display things, what does “Markdown support” mean to you?

  7. I suspect that Simple Note uses some 10.8 – X APIs? The frustration when i could not use it on the MacPro 1.1 with 10.7.5 (Apple refused to update the EFI from 32-bits to 64, alas no 10.8). Love it on my MacBook Pro anyways!

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