Bear Notes – my new favourite Markdown editor and notes app

There’s a new notes app out. And, to my joy, it’s featured in the Apple App Store. Why am I so happy about this? Becuase it’s my new favourite.

Note: I’m not affiliated with Bear, it’s just a new product that I love.

The Bear App team let me be a beta tester for this app and so I’ve been using it for a while now. On release I had no hesitation: I installed and bought a pro subscription immediately.

I’ve used many notes apps and Markdown editors. Evernote is highly functional but its formatting is weird and the interface is clunky and inconsistent. SimpleNote is great but is pretty bare-bones and just lacks functionality. Byword is a beautiful editor but lacks any real organisational mechanism other than folders, and there’s no search ability.

Bear takes the best of all of these: beautiful Markdown editing; a clever tagging system; sophisticated search; an interface that’s not in-your-face. It’s a joy.

It won’t be for everyone. You have to be keen on, or willing to learn to use Markdown (which I am). And it’s currently iPhone/iPad/Mac only. But if you fall into the category of Markdown-using, Apple-device-owning power user, it’s highly recommended.

My only issues are small, but not insignificant:

  1. It’s tied to Apple’s devices and infrastructure when I’d prefer a more cross-platform solution. That was an engineering decision that they took to make the app viable. Perhaps a web-version will come along at some point?
  2. It’s not a “cloud” notes app, like Evernote or Simplenote. Notes are synchronised across devices, but are not really stored “in the cloud”.  And as such it has no API – there’s no way to send stuff to it from the outside world, such as by using an IFTTT recipe.

Nearly perfect. Great job on the release!