January 27, 2013
Microsoft is set to kill Live Mesh in two weeks. I’ve been using Live Mesh for years. It’s been a great tool, even though it didn’t make an appearance on the mobile platform. It seems that things are not that bad for Live Mesh users, because Microsoft offers to migrate them to Skydrive. The problem is that Skydrive has been seriously dumbed down compared to Live Mesh, to the point of being unusable. Several advanced features are absent from Skydrive, including direct PC-to-PC sync and ability to sync any folder on the computer. Microsoft is well aware of this problem and of the fact that the users are revolting. Count me as one of those users. I removed Live Mesh, but didn’t install Skydrive. I installed SugarSync, and it is an awesome product.
I use it to sync my Onenote files between PCs and an Android phone, and use MobileNoter to work with the notes. It all works like a charm.
February 25, 2012
Another update to MobileNoter SE for Android – this time it’s a huge addition – an ability to sync your OneNote notes with the SharePoint Server. This puts MobileNoter into the leader of note-taking software in the number of sync services supported. Why is it important? Because the major vendors use the sync service to lock users up.
Take Evernote – it’s a nice service, but you have to cough up $5 a month for a premium plan (read: for ability to really use it), your data are locked on the Evernote servers, and you just don’t have any choice. This is a terrible proposition for most users. Evernote started strong a few years ago, but their expensive subscriptions are going to significantly slow their growth down as more alternatives appear.
Let’s review sync options for the MobileNoter users:
- Dropbox. This is great for personal usage. Dropbox is a well-known service that’s been around for a while. You get 2GB of storage for free, and you can get more if you help them with their marketing.
- SkyDrive. Again, great for personal usage. You get 25GB of storage for free.
- Personal computer. This option comes with advantages and some disadvantages. It is harder to setup, because it requires a Windows sync client to be installed. Another disadvantage is that when using cloud sync (as opposed to WiFi), there is a monthly subscription, even though it’s not nearly as expensive as that of Evernote. The advantages are that the storage is only limited by your hard drive, and that you have complete control over your notes.
- SharePoint Server, which is great for enterprise usage. I doubt that an average IT department is going to be thrilled over sensitive company information sitting on Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Evernote servers. The best option is to deploy a SharePoint Server, and give the employees the ability to use it for cloud note syncing.
Finally, I can’t help, but notice: even Microsoft OneNote for iOS/Android isn’t able to sync with Microsoft SharePoint Server. You are welcome.
September 4, 2011
From now on, the Android users are able to view and edit their OneNote files without any additional synch software (MobileNoter Windows Synch Client in particular). The users can pull the latest version of their OneNote notebook from a Skydrive or Dropbox account, edit it on their Android phone, and synch the notebook back to the Skydrive/Dropbox account. All this is done without any PC involved.
This is a significant achievement. Even though the following updates will improve MobileNoter even more (we’ll add inking, support for 3.0+ tablet devices, improved editing), this release is a major accomplishment, one of the best things we did during this year. I want to thank the team – everyone involved in this release for their hard work and getting things done!
May 3, 2011
We released a SkyDrive update to MobileNoter SE for Android a few days ago. Users have a choice to host their notes on either DropBox or SkyDrive now. Both services provide a lot of storage for free. Windows Live SkyDrive has a big advantage in that it allows editing your OneNote notes on the web. We have only one step remaining for the ultimate OneNote solution for Android: the ability to edit notes in MobileNoter SE, which is coming in less than 2 months.
April 26, 2011
Amazon approved MobileNoter SE into its Appstore a few days ago, and the first sales are rolling in. Amazon Appstore is weird in many ways. For example, they have the right to change the price of your app. Unlike Android Market, they take time to approve apps and they don’t reveal identity of the buyers to the vendors. On the bright side, they got transaction export into Excel right, which is still a great problem for Google.
So far, customers’ activity is about 10 times less than that of Android Market. On the other hand, all our competitors like Evernote, Catch Notes, Springpad are on the Amazon, so we couldn’t sit on the sidelines.
I find the most helpful customer review of Evernote to be very remarkable: Great app for organizing and keeping track of things as they happen, however the terms clearly states they can use, modify and distribute anything you upload for purposes of the site and sell to partners. 18 of 22 people found this helpful.
That’s exactly the biggest difference between MobileNoter and its competitors: we don’t and won’t own your notes and data. Use Dropbox, SkyDrive, or your personal server to store your notes and don’t ever worry about who can access your data.
March 12, 2011
We just released a new shiny MobileNoter SE into Android Market. How is this release different from the one we did a week ago? Well, the differences are significant.
First, the application was completely rewritten. SE stands for Standalone Edition. It highlights the fact that the shiny MobileNoter SE doesn’t require a Windows synchronization client and it doesn’t require Microsoft OneNote. Pretty soon the SE version will be able to grab OneNote files from DropBox, SkyDrive, and other file sync and share services. We believe this to be a huge advantage compared to Evernote and its clones. With Evernote, all your notes reside on Evernote servers. You don’t have any control over your data. You don’t own your data. You don’t even know who and when may decide to peek into your data. When you can store your notes on DropBox or similar services, you have much more control. Plus, most of these services give you a lot of space for free. Even better, you can set up your personal DropBox-like server and use it to sync all your data, including notes. While this may sound complex, this is the way the corporate users will go. No corporate would want to store their employees’ notes on someone else’s servers (be it Evernote or SkyDrive). They would want to host the server themselves for security purposes. Pretty soon we are going to give them this ability!
The second difference between MobileNoter and MobileNoter SE is that the latter is sold through the Android Market, while the former can be downloaded for free. Before this, we’ve used Plimus and PayPal to sell software. Well, Google Checkout is definitely the easiest to set up a merchant account with. However, the merchant interface is so basic at the moment. It’s not just basic, it is plain ugly to the point of being unusable. Come on people! Even downloaded CSV files with transactions are not formatted properly, like dates are wrong and amounts are mixed with currency symbols. I really hope Google will fix this soon.