What we’ve been up to

For those who use the Simplenote web app, did you notice you can now delete your tags? Just click the trash can icon next to a tag in your tag list, and it’ll be removed entirely.

A Simplenote iOS update also hit the App Store awhile back with a variety of fixes.

Most importantly, we’ve been hard at work on a big improvement to the way syncing works. This is a huge undertaking. Our goal is to make syncing even faster and more reliable since we believe it’s Simplenote’s core strength.

We look forward to sharing the changes with you when they’re ready.

Temporarily absent from the App Store

Today we briefly released an update to Simplenote for iOS that introduced a bug. Under some circumstances, your notes could become invisible. Not actually gone, just seemingly gone.

We decided to pull the update from the App Store, which means new users can’t download it either. We’ve already fixed the problem and are now awaiting App Store approval. If all goes well, Simplenote will return to the App Store by this Friday.

If you were unfortunate enough to snag the update before we took it down, you can avoid the bug by not creating new notes while viewing a particular tag. Closing Simplenote from the task manager and reopening it will make all notes visible again.

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Numerous web app improvements

We’ve been making a lot of improvements to the Simplenote web app in recent months. Have you spotted them all? Here are the highlights:

Tabs. You can now use the Tab key to indent your selection or the current line. If you don’t want this feature, you can disable it in Settings.

Preview lines. You can choose how many preview lines are shown in the note list.

Markdown. For those who want to format their notes using Markdown syntax, you can now enable support for this in the new Note Info dialog. Doing so allows you to toggle between editing and previewing your note. When you publish a Markdown note, the publishing link sends people to a nicely rendered version that stays in sync with your updates.

Sharing. There’s now a sharing menu in the web app where you can easily publish a note. To let other people edit a note with you, you can add their email addresses as tags.

Better links. When you click on a shared note link in a notification email, you’re brought to that note inside your account (if you’re already signed in). The links are now shortened using our simp.ly domain.

Printing. For old school people who like paper.

Import and export. We believe data should flow freely. You can now import and export notes using a variety of formats. This feature, which can be accessed from your account menu, is still in beta (its interface will be improved in the future).

Fixed overzealous warnings. There was a problem where you might be warned about changes not being saved even if you hadn’t made any changes. Also, some browsers were displaying an unnecessary security warning. Both of these have been fixed.

Session recovery. If you become signed out of your account for some reason, the app will now prompt you to sign in again. This solves a potential case where unsaved data could have been lost under some circumstances.

Word count. Displayed in the new Note Info dialog. Also shows character count.

Untagged notes. For those who just have to tag everything, searching for tag:untagged will now display all your untagged notes so you can tag them to your heart’s content.

Haven’t tried the web app in awhile? You can sign in here.

Introducing Listary

Listary is the latest app to work with your Simplenote account. Built by Portmanteau for iPhone and iPod touch, it’s all about lists. It makes it really easy to create list items, cross them off, and reorder them. Since it uses Simplenote, you can also access your lists using our web app or any other apps that work with Simplenote.

You’ll find more information on their website, or you can download it now from iTunes.

Ongoing minor improvements

We released versions 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of Simplenote for iOS with the following fixes:

  • properly restored compatibility with iOS 3.1.3 
  • fixed crash when swiping the “Add an item” row (premium) 
  • fixed rare crash when updating lists 
  • fixed orientation lock no longer working 
  • fixed sharing icon not disappearing after unsharing a note 
  • fixed settings sometimes triggering the wrong settings when tapped 
  • improved user experience for publishing a note

Some people have also noticed ongoing improvements to the web app. For example, you’re now asked to re-authenticate if you leave the Simplenote web app open for a long period of time. Previously you could potentially lose changes when this happened.

Another web app improvement is that it remembers email addresses you’ve used as tags for sharing. These addresses will now autocomplete as you type them.

Quick iOS fixes

Simplenote for iOS version 3.1.1 was released today with the following fixes:

  • fixed a problem where lists don’t sync correctly
  • fixed inability to disable ads for paid users
  • fixed a crash with iOS versions less than 4.0
  • fixed passcode lock starting locked for some people
  • first list item is now treated like a title (premium)
  • fixed problem where tags might not sync if you have more than 50 of them
  • fixed currently visible list hanging around after you sign out
  • fixed strange tag getting created if you tap Done while a tag cell is highlighted

 

New premium features: Dropbox syncing and lists

We’re excited to reveal two brand new features for our premium subscribers: Dropbox syncing, and support for lists.

Dropbox syncing

Synchronization is a wonderful thing. Your computers sync information with your devices, your apps sync information with other apps, and everybody wins.

We’re all about syncing here at Simperium. It’s our pleasure to announce seamless integration with Dropbox, another great syncing service (and, incidentally, a fellow Y Combinator startup company).

Dropbox is a great way to sync files. When you link your Dropbox account to your Simplenote account, all your notes in Simplenote will appear as text files in the Dropbox directory of your choice. Thereafter, your notes and files stay synchronized as you make changes. Syncing happens in both directions.

Best of all, you just need to set this up once, and it works automatically everywhere you use Simplenote: iOS, the web app, and all 3rd-party apps.

Syncing with Dropbox currently happens every several minutes. We’ll improve this approach as new syncing features become available in both Dropbox and Simplenote.

To configure Dropbox syncing, premium users can access their account settings in the web app.

Lists

Lots of people use Simplenote to keep lists. Using an iPhone or iPad, premium subscribers can now turn any note into a reorderable list of items. Go to the Note Info screen and toggle the View as List switch. You can easily edit items, rearrange them, and cross them off by swiping them.

Lists are stored as plaintext, so they also work with the Simplenote web app and all 3rd-party apps.

Price

We hope you agree that Simplenote is a valuable service. Starting today, the price of premium subscriptions will be $1.99 per month, or $19.99 per year.

Your support helps us to keep making improvements to Simplenote. Here’s a table that summarizes the differences between premium and free accounts. If you’re ready to upgrade, sign in to the web app and access your account settings.

iOS update: sharing, passcode lock, fixes and more

An update for Simplenote is now live in the App Store. If you use Simplenote for iOS, download the update to get several important fixes and a small number of carefully selected new features.

This update makes it easier to use tags and sharing. Check out this post to learn how to tag people and create group tags.

We’ve also added an option to enable a passcode lock to protect all your notes. You’ll find this in the Settings screen. When you enable the lock, people can still use other apps on your device, but they won’t be able to access your notes in Simplenote unless they know your code.

Premium subscribers are also treated to two great new features: Dropbox syncing and lists.

Are you an original, paid Simplenote user or did you buy an ad-free upgrade in the past? An unfortunate bug in this update has re-enabled your ads, but we’ve got you covered. We’re giving you all complimentary premium upgrades until a fix is available. This will let you disable ads in the meantime.

Lastly, here are some fixes that are in this update:

  • fixed an intermittent crash when the note list updates
  • fixed slowdown when typing in larger notes
  • fixed toolbar sometimes disappearing when using versions
  • fixed not being able to use spaces in passwords
  • word count now reports actual count rather than an estimate
  • improved note list preview for notes that have a single paragraph of content
  • removed redundancy in note list previews when viewing notes by tag
  • fixed occasional display problems with note info
  • fixed published notes erroneously disabling the sharing button

Have you tried the Simplenote web app lately? We’ve fixed and improved lots of small things there as well. Thanks for your feedback as we continue to make improvements.

Easy note sharing using tags

People have been using Simplenote to share grocery lists, class notes, travel plans and more with their friends, family, and co-workers. Meanwhile, those with lots of notes have been using Simplenote’s tag system to help keep everything organized.

In the forthcoming update for iOS, we’re introducing a revised system for tags and sharing based on your feedback. We’ve unified these two features in a way that we hope you’ll appreciate. Here are the details:

Tag autocompletion

Start typing and select the tag you want from the live search results. Or tap the plus button to access the tag manager.

Add people as tags for fast sharing

People in your address book appear in your tag search results. You can tag people to quickly share your note with them. If they have Simplenote accounts, they’ll receive the shared note directly in Simplenote (and 3rd-party apps). Otherwise, they’ll receive an email with a link to the shared note where they can view and edit it on the web.

You can think of this as being like collaborative email where both the sender and receiver can make changes to the content, and everything stays in sync.

Group tags

You can add people to tags to create group tags. For example, here at Simperium, we have a Simperium tag that has the members of our team. Whenever we add the Simperium tag to a note, that note is automatically shared with our team.

Improved web app

Tags work better in the web app now, too. You can access all your tags (including group tags created in iOS), and you can add email addresses as tags for easy sharing. Tag syncing has also been greatly improved. The only limitation is that you can’t yet create new group tags using the web app.

3rd-party support

It’s easy for developers to add support for this new sharing system to their apps. All they need to do is support tags. Our platform does the work to figure out whether a particular tag is an email address or a group tag, and it will handle the sharing accordingly.

Coming soon

These enhancements will be available to all iOS and web users as a free update very soon. The update also has a variety of fixes and a couple more surprises.