Huge Evernote for iPhone Update: Offline notebooks and more!

Posted by on 23 Dec 2009

Posted by on 23 Dec 2009

Editor’s Note: As of April 29, 2015, the Evernote features and pricing described in this blog post have changed. Please reference our comparison page for a current list of features and pricing levels.


Talk about a holiday gift! The Apple AppStore elves work in mysterious ways and they just approved the biggest Evernote for iPhone (version 3.2) in months! What’s new? Offline notebooks! Speed improvements! Better note editing! Longer audio recording! And, as if that wasn’t enough, you can now go Premium from within the app. Get Evernote for iPhone now from the App Store »

As always, please reboot your phone after installing a new application.

Local note caching

All notes that you create or view on the iPhone will be cached locally, so you can view them again even without a network connection. This feature is available to all users.

Premium feature: Offline notebooks

Premium users can now choose to be fully downloaded any and all of their notebooks to the device, making them instantly accessible even when offline (or on a plane). Tap on the new Sync tab and choose Offline Notebooks to configure this feature.

The larger the notebook the longer it will take to fully sync, but the plus side is you only have to do this once. For fastest results, we recommend doing this over Wi-Fi. Please note that the app will not be able to download all your notes if you select more notebooks than the available space left on your device.

[Important: There’s a small bug that inaccurately displays notebook sizes for premium users if you upgrade from the previous version of the app. Deleting the app from your phone and reinstalling fixes this.]

In-app purchase of Evernote Premium

Want to go Premium to take advantage of the new features? Now you can. You’ll be able to buy a month or year of Evernote Premium right from the new Sync tab in the app.

Double the talkity talk

This latest version doubles the length of Audio Note recordings, to a nice 20 minutes.

Local searching

Searching now works offline, so you can search through your Favorites, cached notes and offline notebooks. If you have a network connection, the app will automatically search through both the notes on your phone and on the server.

Editing rich-text notes

If you try to edit a note that contains formatting, pictures or attachments, you’ll be given the option to append the new text (as before) or make an editable plain-text copy of the note. If you chose to strip out the formatting, a copy of the original note will be moved into the trash so you can recover it later.

New “Sync” tab

All of the Sync and Account features are now consolidated into one tab with real-time status of all sync operations.

Ability to search while synchronizing

The dreaded “already communicating with the server” message is gone for good. So long. Good bye.

Easily see all your notes

A new “All Notes” button when searching or filtering makes it easy to get back to all your notes with one click.


Every aspect of Evernote for iPhone is much faster: launching the app, searching, syncing, making new notes, browsing, etc. Our goal is to let you use Evernote without ever having to even notice the speed and this version is another big step in that direction.

Additional languages

Evernote for iPhone is now available in English, French, German and Russian with limited (but quickly growing) support for Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Portuguese and Chinese.

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60 Comments RSS

  • Brian Turner

    This is wonderful! So can we expect a podcast about the new features? I especially like automatic local note caching.

    And +1 Linux

  • hamhead

    great update but i’d like to recommend a slight improvement: let us know how much iPhone space there is remaining within the app as currently i believe we have to go the iPhone’s settings and find that out.

    it would be useful in deciding what and how many notebooks to add to offline syncing now that you have thankfully implemented this highly demanded feature.

    finally, may i put forth a huge thank you to the team behind this and wish you happy holidays and tons of success!

  • Jeffrey Herr

    I should be headed to bed, but now I’ll be finding my iPhone and downloading the new update! Thanks Evernote, you make the building of my new house SOOO much easier!

  • Jeffrey Herr

    Wait… Even with previous versions, wasn’t I able to do offline sync of notebooks that I marked as “Favorites”?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Jeffrey Just to clarify, for free users, Evernote automatically saves locally (1) any note you create on the iPhone, (2) any note you view on the iPhone, (3) any note you mark as a favorite. So all of the free user cases are for individual notes. If you’re an Evernote Premium subscriber, then you can select any notebook, and all the notes contained within that notebook will be sync’d down to your iPhone and stored.

      Hope that helps.

  • ArcAngel

    These are huge gains for an already amazing product. This is why I tell everyone I know that Evernote is one of the most important companies on the Internet.

  • nm

    looks nice!

    how about an update for the pre? thx.

  • Velanche

    Wow, this is tremendous! I’ve had my iPod Touch for just over two weeks and was very pleased with the Evernote app already.

    It was great that I could select a note to view offline (which, by the way, I’ve found out over the weekend as I had time to explore more of Evernote’s options). But as a premium user, downloading all of my notebooks to my Touch is really a tremendous thing. Since the Touch works with wi-fi, it’s nice to read the notes offline when I’m on the bus or otherwise outside a wi-fi area.

    A couple of things:
    1. I agree with one of the posters that it would be nice to some sort of viewing comparison of how much space is left on the device, side-by-side with the amount of total notebook space.
    2. It would be good if there was an easier way to choose a notebook from Evernote’s home screen. Unless I’m missing something, I usually have to go to the Advanced search options and choose a notebook from there.

    Thanks otherwise again for the terrific product. I may be paying a nominal amount, but it’s one that’s a really good investment with my documents. Kudos to everyone at Evernote.

    Happy Holidays,

  • Hollis Wilson

    Evernote Team –

    I want to add my thanks for a great iPhone app update. This is just what I needed.

    I agree with the other commenters, your product is getting better and better – now take a break!

    Happy holidays and Happy New Year.

  • Velanche

    Oh, one minor detail.

    The Edit Rich Text dialog box should have a cancel button in case one wants to get out altogether. This has happened to me, and I ended up having to exit to the Home Screen as a workaround.


  • andrew

    this is great!!
    please look into getting this onto android ASAP 🙂

    now the only thing missing in evernote is adding reminders!

  • Tammy

    Thanks for the update and a particular rah rah rah for the offline notebooks! I live in a rural area with plenty of cell tower dead zones and when I’m on the road I’m going to make very good use of that feature. Happy holidays!

  • Other Net

    Great timing! I wanted my notes in my iPhone with me all the time and was starting to doubt the usefulness of Evernote if it was still mostly offline. This update stopped me in my tracks looking for alternatives. But, I do hope in your next update we will be able to edit our rich text notes without needing to append or losing the image altogether.

    I think we would like to be able to snap a picture from Evernote and attach notes to it. I know NoteLife/Soho Notes is not the same thing but it came close enough to replace Evernote, for me.

  • Rob C

    Add the offline notebook option to the Windows Mobile version and you will instantly convert me to a premium account.

    I use Evernote as a sticky note replacement as well as research, business planning, note taking, and writing. These tasks do not consume much storage or bandwidth, but not having these (a selection or all of them) available without an Internet connection is a serious disadvantage that limits my use.

    Offline notebooks on my Windows Mobile device alone would be enough to get me to upgrade.

    Happy Holidays,

  • martin


  • Fred Smith

    I’ve been using computers since Amiga and Atari days and on the Internet since it was just text and no pictures…. I think Evernote is the best program I have ever used in all those years. Now I know where that document, webage or note is located… in Evernote!

    I already upgraded to the Premium version for no good reason other than I love Evernote and wanted to support it. I never had the inclination to do that before. However it paid off because the offline note sync on iPhone is worth the upgrade alone.

    Thanks for working hard all year, and particularly now at the end of 2009 to release great new OS X and iPhone versions.

    I plan on using Evernote for years to come. It’s the best innovation since the web browser.

  • iRock

    Wonderful update!

    Anyway, agreed with Velanche. There should be a cancel button. Absolutely need.

  • fjpoblam

    Superb! One of the things top on my list (in fact, close to the topmost, and I can’t recall the others at the moment). Thank you very much, Santa.

  • Hash

    Local notes caching and searching was something that I wanted ever since I started using Evernote on my iPhone, coz here in India the network charges are per-usage.
    Thank You guys!!!

  • Steve Wax

    Like the others here I’m extraordinarily happy with the Evernote software. Thanks for the great update!

    I’m in the marketing biz and know the best advertising is an intense group of brand loyalists. You do have a loyal and fervent fan base. I wonder what you are doing to further activate them and, further, what you can do to move others who have neutral or passively-positive attitudes to full bore evangelists.

    Evernote is the best utility software on a cost to value delta. Besides Twittering and FB-ing about Evernote, what else can we do to help you spread the word?

  • Mike pags

    Need something like this for Android!
    there’s plenty of space on the sd carfd for a local cache…

  • Alexey

    I wonder. Are you going to port these features to the other clients, such as Windows Mobile?

  • krquet

    Apple, please buy Evernote, if necessary with a hostile takeover ninja move.

  • Brandon Silver

    The offline sync feature is a godsend to iPod Touch users like me. Thanks a bunch evernote!

  • MacPsych

    Thanks guys – just what I’ve been looking for. Am upgrading to a premium account as a result. Good job!

  • Stephan

    This is wonderful. However, my iPhone app has difficulties to connect to Evernote’s server. Is it just me or is the server overloaded with iPhone 3.2 requests?

  • RebelRace

    Great update!

    If you click “append” without appending anything nothing happens.

  • Eduardo Ovies (Chinchorrero)

    Great applications.
    Must have:

  • Schlave

    Hi, I am a new user of evernote. Am using it to archive my newspaper articles collected over the years, it really is extremely useful. Considering premium.
    However, I noticed the snapshot note feature is still rather unstable. If I try to create more than 1 consecutive snapshot note, the app tends to crash. This made the app a whole lot less usable to me!
    Furthermore, I suppose it’s a bad idea to rename notes while they are being synced to the server?? I’ve had quite a few blank notes created out of nowhere as a result.
    Otherwise this is an app I can see myself putting on my home screen.

  • David

    Awesome now just fix the clumsy iphone UI and we’re good to go! Scrolling through lots of folders is no fun :/

  • Daniel

    Hmmm – so happy its out there. However – it seems not to work for me – always getting the “server not available” message when synching – even if i have a stable connection.

  • steve


    one slight question: after upgrading to premium is it possible to downgrade to free again?


  • Mark Hawkins

    My notes wont sync after Aug 2009, and any new notes wont upload, giving me the message “error communicating with Evenote servers.”
    Is there a sync log like in the desktop clients to check if a certain file is gumming up the works?

  • Jon Gorman

    Great updates!!! This is now my most use iPhone app and convinced me to sign up for premium.

    I agree on an easier selection of a folder, and the cancel button on the rich text edit.

    Is there a plan to do rich text editing on the iPhone? The editor that’s in there is great, but a rich text editor would make this soooo much more helpful to be able to actually work and produce docs on Evernote/iPhone.

    Great job guys, love the product and the iPhone app!


  • Ken Rimple

    Love Evernote but lately the new iPhone app is giving me error u11 when it tries to sync. Makes it unusable for creating notes on the phone. Bad.

  • Paul

    Love it! I evernote on my ipod touch and it’s incredible. Offline access to my notes makes it complete.

    But please, please, please… pay some attention to the blackberry app. It’s just a shortcut to the website and extremely limited. Some of us still have to use blackberrys due to limited ATT coverage. If you could make my blackberry app as cool as the iphone app I could die with my life complete.

  • Johnny Dera

    Offline viewing for Windows Mobile is long over due.

  • Mike

    Ever since the upgrade, the iPhone app adds a blank line between each line when I edit notes.

    Is anybody else having this problem?

  • Steve D

    Downloaded upgrade for iPhone but am having trouble with the app crashing each time I try to open it. Thoughts?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Steve D If you’re having crashing issues, try uninstalling and re-installing the app. That usually fixes the problem.

  • Jeff

    1) I would like Reminders so that notes can be conveniently emailed or texted to me at pre-programmed times.

    Not sure where these fit in but here goes:

    2) Please add the ability to record voice messages from the Windows Desktop app. I mean, why is voice recording only for mobile? Many times I could use it while at my desk.

    3) Voice-To-Text conversion…if that can be done, Evernote will be the coolest and most useful application EVER.

  • Christian

    I agree: Offline Support for Windows-Mobile is very important for me!

  • IJ

    Agreed with some postings above — would be great if we can more easily pick between notebooks. But otherwise great updates, and love Evernote 🙂

  • Wild Cherry

    Please, Please, PLEASE create Offline Support for Windows Mobile. I would then quite happily upgrade to Premium.
    Happy New Year to the Evernote Team!

  • Ken Zuk

    YES!!!! This is like a CHRISTMAS GIFT!!! Offline notes is something I have been soooo waiting for !!!!

    For me, this is like a NEW APP for me…without offline I have stopped using Evernote — but I AM BACK!!!!!

    Thank you Evernote staff!!!!!

  • Trent

    Hey evernote…I love the program alot, however is there any chance you can givea little more love to the PalmPre ap? My buddy has the Iphone, and I have the PalmPre and I just hate that I cant fully utilize my ap nearly as much as he can. So any chance there is an update for that in the future? Any word on that? 🙂

  • Lucien

    Offline use makes it useable again. I am back also.
    Weak connections in the real world made the search (for wines i liked) too slow.

    Thanks so much

  • Drew

    Like Mark Hawkins, I cannot sync with the iphone app (after Dec 8, “error communicating with Evenote servers.”), though I can with computers. I have tried re-installing and every thing else I can think of.

    I’ll have to look for something other than Evernote if I can’t find a solution.

  • Julien

    App is very nice but… Considering using evernote for GTD-organization. However, to do that, it should be very easy to use saved searches. Right now, I need to:
    – open evernote
    – click on ‘notes’
    – click on search box
    – click on advanced search
    – scroll down
    – click on saved search
    – click on notes
    That’s a bit much. I suggest the ‘saved searches’ box be on top with open list of all saved searches, and clicking on a one directly goes back to the found notes: saves two clicks and one scroll.

    Can you edit the list of favorites on the web app/desktop app?

  • Jimmie

    Big feature I think would be most awesome for Evernote on the iPhone: the ability to CREATE checkboxes for todo list creation/management.

  • Ron

    I love the idea of Evernote, but the way this app crashes each and every time I attempt to open it on my iPhone just makes it unusable. I can use it via a web browser on my pc, but not via safari on my iphone. From the comments in the app store about Evernote, I’m not the only person experiencing these problems. Any idea when this will get fixed? I just can’t advocate the use of this tool until it actually works, even if I’d like to.


  • Catherine H

    I downloaded this app onto my iPod touch because it had offline access to notes. This feature worked for one day. Now, every time I open Evernote, I get an error message that says synchronization failed (Duh, I’m not online), and then the program shuts down.

    Help! Or is it just a failed feature?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Catherine, please see our post about the error:

  • Rubadubadoobag

    I agree with all the others calling for a similar function for Windows Mobile smartphones. Being new to Evernote I did not even realise that it cannot be used at all without an internet connection: I was trying to show my workmate this ‘wonderful new program’ only to be embarrassed when there was nothing to show. It looks like a great program but it is a significant omission and I wonder why it was designed this way, given that it must be technically quite simple to allow offline access.

  • Peter

    Oh wow, how annoying that you guys have disable offline viewing unless I pay $5 a month. Evernote is still usefull on my iphone but completely uselss on my ipad now. Obviously you guys need to make money, but I think I might look around and try other services. Maybe I’ll give springpad a try.

  • Deb

    The Premium Account includes way more than just this – it’s a bargain!

  • Craig

    Great app but the only annoying part for me is that you cant edit rich text files on the phones – I want to be able to create nice tidy lists with bullet points or numbers while I’m out and about. Bring this feature in and I would happily pay for the premium account.

  • Geoff

    I have just set up evernote as a to-do list, and am dismayed to find I can’t create/edit the tick boxes on my phone/ipad. Seems like an astounding omission, but perhaps it is because of the history of the product. Presumably it is a desktop focused product with an add-on iOS client. The product is only useful to me if it can work with my iOS devices so this is a real downer.

  • graphicsguy1

    Very nice feature, thank you! Just one more request,if I may? My default notebook receives a pile of my clippings each day and then I sort them out by moving them to the appropriate folders afterwards using the Windows desktop application.

    I notice that in the iPhone app it is not possible to move the notes into other folders. Other Cloud file storage apps do have this flexibility and I wondered if you could add this to the Evernote app feature list?

    Many thanks – keep up the good work!

    • Abhishek

      I was just thinking about the same but i realised we do have option to move between different notebooks. When you click to edit any note like to enter text, look on the top and there is an option to edit its notebook location