Evernote As A Hardware Augmented Platform

Nokia N950, N9 (apps view), & Kindle Fire HD (showing Evernote)
I had this interesting series of thoughts recently concerning Evernote. Frankly speaking, I’m a big fan of the service, so much so that I wonder what it would look like if Evernote went the route of Amazon and took Android and turned it into a very customized tablet experience.

The Thoughts (As Tweets)

Now to take these point by point…

Features List
Am basing this on the usability of the 7in Kindle Fire HD that I own, as I wasn’t impressed enough with Evernote on my iPad (1st gen) to consider it there.

  • Instead of 1in black border, reduce that to .5in
  • The UI (user interface) would be similar to the Android UI that I’m looking at. Addition of a more evident search box, but with the sliding panes metaphor otherwise intact
  • Extending Evernote Trunk into a full-blown app store. Though I wonder how media streaming/downloading could work. I’m streaming from Amazon Music as I write this, I wonder if that’s needed as much as its an extra when it comes to this idea of a digital notebook
  • Evernote Peek And Hello would have to fit in as hardware-enabled. For Peek, the hardware would have to have an included cover that folds into some kind of device stand. For Hello, a simple NFC/Bluetooth swipe or tap gesture to make that transaction happen
  • Cameras on front and back, with something like Twitter’s Vine (short, frames-limited) recording

Screenshot of Evernote from Kindle Fire HD

One of the things I think about an Evernote-as-a-hardware device is that it wouldn’t have a conventional web browser. There would be a function to browse, but it would come out of the ability to connect what you are browsing to what you’d like to save, share, or remember. That would take functions like forward, back, and history and give them different contexts.

Same thing for email. Essentially, there’d be no such thing as email. You’d have your Evernote email address (perhaps with an alias that enables it to go into a specific notebook regardless of where the note is coming from). I’d actually see Evernote in this capacity getting rid of the idea of email as a place where things die and are attached, and more into a content sharing shift. There’d be no such thing as attachments, just items embedded from their source(s) to a note which is then shared.

I guess now that I’m talking about browsing and email, that I should probably more specifically talk about other ways to extend a Evernote into this idea of a hardware augmented device.

Evernote as a hardware has to do better with input that currently done on tablets. For example, Skitch and Penultimate are two inking products that Evernote has in their stable. I could see the vector-creation/management engines of either of these used as the ink(ing) means of getting content onto the device. I’d even go so far as to making handwriting and inking the default method of method of writing. That way, you only do the typing style when you are doing long-form input or doing something that needs the fine tuning of a typed item such as a URL.

You have to have a camera or two on the device. I’d see two cameras as necessary. One on the front that would handle atmospheric kinds of pics (headshots for example). But, then the one on the rear large enough lens that doing document scanning becomes a normal endeavor. Ok, so the magazine and book folks might like that. But, it would fit totally into what Evernote wants to do. Perhaps, with that risk identified, magazines that have a decent print presence would use a shared Evernote notebook to sell additional content (take a pic of Vogue’s cover and get access to other Vogue covers in a separate Evernote notebook; take a picture of a coupon and get an offer for a notebook of coupons, etc.).
Screenshot 2 of Evernote from Kindle Fire HD

Reasons Against
One of the things that I wanted to do right before I went back to typing this (in Evernote) was to hook up my tablet to a larger monitor, and then use some RDP of choice to get into a corporate environment. I don’t know that Evernote as a platform would allow for that. In fact, I think that the fact that it would not be so easy to ties down into that framework that it would challenge larger administrative IT deployments. BYOD to another degree, BYO platform.

I’m limiting this to a tablet, but there’s no reason that it couldn’t be done with a larger device. My limitation comes on the idea of what makes sense to carry around to stay productive – not necessarily create the next greatest game/meme/video. Too much of computing is tied into this idea that everyone is a consumer or a producer. I see this idea as more like "everyone wants to take notes of what matters to them."

Am I too off base in thinking about this? I mean, it only took me 3 days to get these thoughts in order. Evernote was great in making that happen. I should have these kinds of thoughts if I’m using it like this. Or, maybe I’m using it too much 😉

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