Picture Great Things With Evernote’s New iOS Camera Functionality


Picture Great Things With Evernote’s New iOS Camera Functionality

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 02 Apr 2015

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 02 Apr 2015

We learn a lot about what features work well and how people use them when we build products like Skitch and Evernote Scannable.

The successes of our stand-alone products can help quickly deliver improvements within our core apps like with this update to Evernote for iOS.

We’re very excited to debut an all-new, Scannable-inspired camera experience in the latest Evernote for iOS (update 7.7).

Learn more about how it works and how to use it:

Picture perfect work

Capture automagically. Evernote’s camera automatically detects and captures the paper that matters: business cards, documents, Post-it ® Notes, and receipts.

Hover your phone over what you’d like to capture. The app detects the edges, what type of paper it is, and creates a crisp digital reproduction. Evernote will even auto-file the image in a designated notebook. No swiping, tapping, or futzing. It’s dead simple.


Review your work. Before you save an image, use Evernote’s new built-in tools to rotate, crop, or reclassify the image.

Stay LinkedIn. Evernote detects when you’re scanning a business card and automatically pulls in current information from LinkedIn to create a detailed contact note (You’ll need to connect your LinkedIn and Evernote accounts.). You can even email your contact information to your new acquaintance and connect with them on LinkedIn right from the new note.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150331 173751

Note: Business card scanning is a Premium feature. To get you acquainted with this feature, the first five card scans are free.

Just the pics. With manual mode, you can just take pictures of the things that matter to you — photos of your ideas or inspirations in any form, and then process as you like.

Self-effacing. If selfies are your thing, you’re in luck with help from the iPhone’s self-facing camera. The flash in this mode is disabled, because we would never process your face as a document.

Post it all. In this update, all the options you had set up for the Post-It® Notes rules still apply. Now, simply capturing the photo will automatically categorize your Post-it® Notes into your specified notebooks and assign them with to-do’s based on their color.

Learn more about Post-it® Notes settings.

Improved navigation. You can now toggle between your camera and camera roll to add to images to your notes. And you can initiate a Work Chat right from the app Home Screen.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 5.39.50 PM

In addition to improved camera functionality, we’ve also addressed numerous bug fixes and improvements that will provide the best possible Evernote experience.


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60 Comments RSS

  • Dallas Hinton

    I like the camera improvements — but how about letting us disable and hide the work chat? I don’t use it, will never use it, and it just takes up valuable real estate on my iphone!!

    • David

      I find it impossible to take photos with this update. It forces document capture (which I do 30% of the time). If I just want a photo – I’m at a loss. I have to open the camera app, snap a photo, switch back to Evernote, click camera, select photo album, select photo taken to add to note, save note, switch to Pictures app, delete the photo (since it’s now in Evernote where I want it), then switch back to Evernote where the new note with the photo exists and I can then name the photo and add text to the note.

      I have no idea how many steps that is – but it’s far too many.

      • Jen

        Same. Irksome! Pls let me set the default to standard photo!

    • Stew

      Yes, please!

    • Johnni


  • Jim Dannock

    New scanning function is great in Evernote so fast but why can’t you save as A PDF?

    • Ross

      Great comment, saving a scanned document as a PDF would be great

    • Marc

      Any chance this has been figured out? I’d like to be able to capture documents with phone camera and save as pdf…

      • GT

        Have you tried saving it as a PDF in Google Cloud Print? It worked for me on android.

  • Gan Sharma

    The enhanced camera functionalities are not trivial. Superbly executed, they are great features that allow flexibility in getting stuff into Evernote. Great job, and thanks!

    • Taylor Pipes

      Gan, Thanks so much for the positive words. Our team put a lot of work into this improved and updated camera functionality. Glad you see that! Please continue to let us know how it helps your work.

      • Gan Sharma

        Without trivializing all the criticism, I am afraid I LOVE the new camera functionality in Evernote. I actually like the fact that I decide what kind document it is after the fact; often, I’d have not set the document type right. I don’t mind the extra two taps. I have been playing with it quite a bit now, and I find that the experience is stellar. I spend 2-3 hours inside Evernote – ALL my workflow is Evernote driven – and I wouldn’t change a thing.

        My only question is: can I have a clear note on when to use Scannable, and when to stick with the new camera functionality in the Evernote app?


  • Philippe Doyle Gray

    Horrible! Control has been taken away from users.

    The presumption that users predominantly photograph documents is unjustified and irritating. Let users decide what they predominantly photograph!

    Why is the default mode fixed to “auto” and why can’t this be changed?

    Auto-magic nonsense—users don’t need changed functionality—we can press buttons when we want to take a photograph—we don’t need to be treated like imbeciles and have the device work without pressing buttons—and getting it wrong!

    Scannable is not comparable to other scanning apps and its deficient workflow should not be imposed on Evernote users.

    At least let us change the default mode to manual.

    • Joseph

      I completely agree. This one inefficiency alone has now made evernote a huge hassle to use.

      Developers, please, let us set the default scanning mode. I don’t want to have to click 3 extra clicks for every single photo.

      What were you thinking???

    • Jim Bezdan

      I agree with others that the old method of having the choice to select the type of photo was much better. It takes too long to auto recognize and gets in wrong sometimes. Maybe stick the non-premium free users with the new method and let those that pay have the older better method.

      • Darren

        The new camera is a disaster. It seemed to cause the app to crash a dozen times yesterday and eventually lost an entire days notes from from a trade fair. Not amused.
        To assume that everyone takes notes of documents is ridiculous. Let US choose what we want to photograph.

    • Alexey

      How can I go back to previous camera functionality???

      The new feature does not work for me very well. I want to have ability to choose between ‘image’ and ‘document’ modes and press the capture button once I am happy with what is in the picture, not some deficient algo decides to do it.

      Please Please Please revert the feature!!!!

      • Hope Cross

        I am with the naysayers! This is an awful feature. It takes too long to capture a photo – oh, wait! Is it a document, post-it note, etc. I give up!

    • Rich

      You do know that you can turn auto mode off with the button in the top right corner and then it works EXACTLY how you are asking right?

      • diana

        Hi thanks to a few helpful replies on this blog, i just worked out how to turn off the ‘auto’ mode on camera so to prevent it thinking I’m scanning a document, which was incredibly irritating (i hardly ever scan a document). Reading the many posts below, it seems that a lot of people have the same problem and could be helped by pointing out this secret little button (top right when in camera mode). On other hand, someone was complaining that when they turn Auto off, they cant choose how the picture is saved – that is incorrect, if you tap on the preview of picture (before it is saved) it will give you options to Save as… Otherwise you can just tap ‘save’ without previewing, to save on number of clicks.

  • KAN

    If there is not enough of light, the camera will capture before focus clearly. I got lots of blur photos.

  • Pavel

    Do I get it right, that I dont need Scannable as all features are now built in right in Evernote?

    • Taylor Pipes

      No, *some* of Scannable’s features are built into Evernote for iOS.

      • Stew

        What’s different if I only want to send to Evernote?

        • Taylor Pipes

          Stew, Here’s some more detail on the differences between Scannable and Evernote’s document camera feature: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/80117-scannable-does-it-do-more-than-the-evernote-premium-scanning-function/.

  • T-Will

    Any chance of getting a shortcut button for audio recordings instead of the work chat shortcut (or at least an option)? I never use work chat, so it would be way more beneficial for me to have a recording shortcut. Thanks.

    • KAN

      me too!

    • Johnni


  • David Gregoire

    For my part, it never takes the pictures and turns forever 🙁
    It’s impossible to use !

    • Bikernz

      I can’t get the updated camera function to work on my iPhone 6 running iOS8.2. Just get an initial area of interest outline followed by the forever turning capture icon. The app is then frozen and must be closed from the task switcher. Not good.

      • Taylor Pipes

        In regards to your issue, please refer to our support ticket creation best practices here: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/51807-best-practices-submitting-a-support-ticket/

    • Heavy User

      The new camera feature does not work at all. I have an iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 and it takes me forever to get the right shot. Often blurred. Why change something that works perfectly and take control away from the user? If I want to have this “feature” I’d use Scannable. Evernote is great but this is an improvement for the worse!!! Please do something about this asap!

      • Taylor Pipes

        In regards to your issue, please refer to our support ticket creation best practices here: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/51807-best-practices-submitting-a-support-ticket/

  • eastcoastbrian

    I am sure I will get the swing of it, but the new camera set up is a bit uncomfortable for me. I liked having the option to switch what i was photographing in the previous version. Also, I am in the midst of research and am going to be shooting hundreds of docs and so far, for the first page or two in each note, I have to switch from it saving as a pic to a document. I checked the settings and there doesn’t appear to be a way to set document as default.

  • Harrison Bolter

    I echo the earlier request; is there a way to turn off the auto-photo-capture or whatever it’s called? If there isn’t, could you pleeeease implement one? Please?

    • Taylor Pipes

      Yes. If you tap on the paper icon in the upper right (once you’re in camera mode), Auto Mode will be turned off.

  • henry

    I really like the big changes evernote has been doing in the past few years. But this new photo changes is debilitating. It works for whole pages and business cards (with clear contrast background), but it is very poor for when I only want to scan parts of a page.

    The camera doesn’t recognize that it is a page so it captures the photo, but doesn’t auto contrast it as it does for scanned texts etc. Moreover, let’s say I want to scan a page, after I do the first one, I often turn the page or find another document, but in the meanwhile my phone is on and evernote is scanning what my phone is seeing. Thus I get these scans of things I didn’t intend.

    I don’t mind the smart photo idea, but I would like manual options (i want to scan a document, even if you don’t think it is a document, and I want auto-contrast on it).

  • Michael Barrow

    Sorry, but I can’t get this to work at all. It craps out every time with the app getting blown out of memory with no error or anything. I’d love to use this! Alas. Please stabilize it and make sure you have a feature where I can scan multiple pages into a single PDF document. That’s what I do all the time.

    • Taylor Pipes

      Michael, In regards to your issue, please refer to our support ticket creation best practices here: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/51807-best-practices-submitting-a-support-ticket/

  • David

    When will these updates and Scannable be available on Android?

  • Lawrence Bordeaux

    The new camera is a substantial improvement over the last version – which was itself rather robust. Bravo! on the hard work and resulting tool set. Faster, better focusing, better keystoning (assume that’s the correct term for perspective correction of documents shot at an angle?) – already using this part of Evernote more now. Thank you.

  • Ugljesa Janjic

    Camera improvement works OK with the documents for me (on iPhone 6) but the business card scanning is just impossible to work with. It takes the photo of the card, but doesn’t populate the fields properly or hardly at all. Secondly, it scans the card but then populates the fields with someone else’s information from that same company. Where is this information pulled from? LinkedIN? Some cards just don’t even want to scan at all. The camera just hangs there trying to figure out what it is supposed to do.

    Horrible “improvement”. Clumsy at best.

    The company should really pay more attention to what they are doing and test it thoroughly before releasing to us. Sometimes “Don’t improve on something that is already working perfectly well.” is a good thing to do.

  • Andy Burke

    Please let me turn off the auto capture camera. On iPhone 6 it’s way too enthusiatic. I wanted to capture one part of a sign board but the app had captured 4 random images before I could line it up. I have to go back to using a camera app to take a photo and then import to Evernote.

    Please don’t force new “features” on us.

  • Ted Michael Gurley

    The new camera function has turned my business card scanning task into a process that is now cumbersome, inaccurate and irritating.

    The camera tries to capture the image way to fast. Out of 20 cards, 16 had to be retaken multiple times due to recognition or being out of focus.

    It seems that now all the camera wants to see is documents. I guess my travel pics go somewhere else.

    A great feature idea but no user control.

    I appreciated what I had last week in Evernote. Today the camera has now become something I won’t use.

  • Oskar

    I am a premium user with intensive use of the document function of the camera. With this upgrade my app crashes every time I try to scan a document, so it became unusable. Any chance of offering the previous fully working version before the new magic function is stable?

  • marcus

    Yes, I agree, I like to be able to snap the picture myself. How to shut down the automatic picture taking feature. Also, how does one re-arrange pictures taken inside evernote?

  • Chew Han Xiang

    Hi. I’m a premium user, displeased with the new camera app. It’s impossible to get it to recognize my Post-it® notes. On top of the fact that it alway snaps before the camera focuses. I prefer the old camera features where we can choose what we want to snap before we snap it. It is afterall a camera feature within Evernote app and not the Scannable that is meant to be scanning documents.
    One more thing, it’s a pain in the neck to actually capture PHOTOS and I mean take photos because it always process my photos as documents and I have to change the settings.
    Please don’t assume we all want to capture documents using the camera feature within Evernote.

  • oswaldb

    All of the new features are great, but please add a manual option.

  • Cory Patten

    This function would be great… but it crashes EVERYTIME I try it with business cards.

  • Kevin

    New camera feature simply does not work! Using in Auto mode will always save a business card as a snapshot. Switch off Auto mode and no option is offered to save as anything else, just takes five times longer to save as a snapshot. The functionality prior to this upgrade was working perfectly….please fix it! Premium user on an IPhone 6 Plus.

  • james haft

    The camera makes my iPhone crash every time. Been a problem for 6 months. About to quit Evernote because even though I set up a support ticket, and they claimed to fix the bug….the camera still crashes.

  • Alexey

    I see that still as of version 7.7.6 for iOS you make auto mode default. AND IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. Can you please make it explicit if the camera is in AUTO mode or MANUAL mode.
    I love manual mode with two options: to take PICTURE or to take DOCUMENT image. This is the only mode that works for me and you dont allow it!

    So for now I manually revert iOS version to 7.6.5 because it still allows it.
    And unfortunately until you restore this mode back I have to leave you bad reviews on app store for the new versions.

    It is really really inconvenient but I have to follow this route until you restore the CHOICE back in the new versions for iOS that I have to do this.

    Thank you for making Evernote for iOS better.

  • Sergey

    This is a great functionality… when it works. The only issue is that it crashes 9 times out of 10. Which makes it extremely frustrating and useless.
    And since I use my Evernote for iPhone mostly for this purpose – this makes it completely useless.
    I would really appreciate availability of the old functionality – manual scan mode. Was working all the time.

  • Jasper Lupo

    Great tool! Use it a lot to scan documents. Need ability to create multi-page pdf right out of the camera (JotNot does this). Also need to set default to something besides document to save time scanning. lots of color docs.

  • babu

    Evernote app is crashing when using camera with recent updates. Evernote support is not useful. I received this reply from support “I appreciate you taking the time to work with me as we work through this issue affecting the Camera in Evernote for iOS.

    We have identified that this issue is affecting several of our Users, and I have reported it to our Product Team.

    While we expect to address this issue within our next few updates, I do not have specifics as to when the issue will be fixed.

    At this time, I’m going to close your ticket.

  • Michelle

    I take a picture but it keeps on taking multiple pictures of the same document — I will take a good picture but then it keeps on taking a picture. I cant get it to stop

  • Christine

    Processing receipts with Evernote – Help Please, I made a rookie mistake. My handheld scanner stopped working, so I used my phone to take photos of my receipts. I opened Evernote, chose Camera, put each receipt separately on a dark background and let Evernote do it’s thing. Evernote put all of the receipts as a “Batch”. How do I separate each receipt from the batch? Or, do I have to do them over again? And hit “Save”after each one? Thank you!

  • Annette

    Taking a photo of a document is a great feature, but half the time the shot clips off half my document. It would be great to have an option to re-adjust the cropping.

  • Jim

    This used to be an awesome way to capture docuemnts into Evernote. Now, it completely and toally SUCKS. As far as I can tell, it tells me that it is saving a “document” (and admittedly, it does a fantastic job of recognizing ant straightening pages), but then it saves them as a png image. USED to be, I could ‘scan’ documents into a pdf. png images are useless to me, and impossiblt to send multiple page documents to anyone else.

    Evernote was my “go to” for years, but using it these days seems to be more frustrating than useful…

  • Jon

    What gets my goat is that there is no way to change the name of a photo before you save…This little oversight makes no sense because I label every single of my pictures to make them searchable….Why Evernote…Why??