Pear Note 2.0.1 for iOS adds iPhone 5 support

September 30th, 2012

iPhone 5

If you got your hands on a snazzy new iPhone 5 and have been wishing Pear Note fully supported that bigger screen, then wait no more. Pear Note 2.0.1 for iOS is now live in the App Store, including support for the iPhone 5. It also includes a bunch of fixes for running on iOS 6, playback highlighting fixes, and general user interface improvements for all. So, update away and enjoy.

Pear Note comes to iPhone

September 10th, 2012

Pear Note for iPhone

I’m pleased to announce that Pear Note for iOS 2.0 is now available. This new version takes the previously iPad-only app and makes it a universal app that will run on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. If you’ve already bought the iPad app, then you just got the iPhone app for free.

I have a confession to make – you guys were right. Ever since the iOS App Store’s arrival, many of you have been asking for an iPhone version of Pear Note. I avoided making one though, because I was unconvinced that taking notes on something so small would be a good experience. I tried taking notes in simple text apps on my iPhone, and found it frustrating. So, I put off making Pear Note for iPhone.

I was wrong. Taking pure text notes on an iPhone is frustrating, as I can’t type quick enough to capture all the information. Taking notes in Pear Note on the iPhone is completely different, though. I can just type a few words about a concept, then rely on the audio recording to fill in the details when reviewing. This means I finally have the ability to take useful notes anywhere I am with the device I always have in my pocket.

Of course, Pear Note on the iPhone is also great for always having my notes with me. I sync all my notes via Dropbox between my devices. Now, I can be anywhere and quickly find anything. I can be at the store buying school supplies and within seconds be listening to the exact moment of the parent orientation when my daughter’s teacher described which crayons worked best. It’s really great.

So check it out. I think you’ll find it is a fantastic tool.

Pear Note for Mac 3.0.2

August 3rd, 2012

Hot on the heels of 3.0.1 comes 3.0.2. This is primarily a bug fix release that fixes some crashes. It’s available for Mac App Store customers as well as direct customers. Get it while it’s hot.

You may also notice that the Share button looks different now. Apple decided the cloud button looked too much like the iCloud icon (despite the fact that the button has looked that way for two years now). So, there’s a new button.

Let me know if you run into any problems.

Pear Note for Mac 3.0.1

July 25th, 2012

Pear Note for Mac 3.0.1 is now out for direct customers. This is primarily a bug fix release, but also ensures Pear Note works properly on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion which was just released today. Notably, Pear Note is now signed with Developer ID in order to support Gatekeeper in Mountain Lion. If you’re already using Pear Note and you got it originally from anywhere except the Mac App Store, simply check for updates within Pear Note to get it.

If you got Pear Note from the Mac App Store, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get it. It’s been waiting for review with Apple for almost two weeks, but Apple seems to be running very slow on reviews lately. Hopefully the review will happen soon so you can get 3.0.1 as well. The good news is that 3.0 should work just fine on Mountain Lion for you, as App Store apps already pass Gatekeeper rules.

Enjoy the update, and let me know if you have any problems.

Pear Note for iPad 1.0.5

June 12th, 2012

I just released a minor bug fix update to Pear Note – version 1.0.5. It improves the speed of the text editor portion of Pear Note when dealing with large amounts of text. Also, it fixes a bug in the loupe that caused excess text to show up around the loupe on a Retina screen (meaning the third generation iPad). The update should be in the App Store now.

Pear Note at Flint Hill School

May 22nd, 2012

Today, I was given the opportunity to visit Flint Hill School in Fairfax County, Virginia. They are a 1:1 school, meaning that all students have their own personal computing device to use. The elementary school kids have iPads and the middle and high school kids have MacBook Airs. And some of those middle and high schoolers have been using Pear Note to take notes in class.

Their first priority has been using Pear Note to help students who have trouble taking good notes in class. I sat down with one eighth grade girl who showed me how she used Pear Note to take notes one of her classes. This particular teacher talks too fast for her to take notes and listen. So, she takes a 3 step approach:

  1. Record the audio in Pear Note while she just listens to the teacher.
  2. Play back the audio in Pear Note and add some text notes it.
  3. Study her notes by reading the text and listening to the key audio portions.

It was great to see folks at such a young age making use of Pear Note. I talk to many of you who are college students or in the workforce, but I rarely get to talk to kids that are using Pear Note as well. If you have other stories of kids in K-12 schools using Pear Note, please send them my way.

I’ll probably post more about my trip to Flint Hill in the coming weeks, but I wanted to go ahead and share this little bit. I learned a lot from them and am very impressed with how forward thinking they are about education. If any of you out there are educators and are looking for role models blazing new trails in education, you should really check out what’s going on at Flint Hill.

Pear Note 3 for Mac

April 26th, 2012

Pear Note 3 for Mac is now available

Yes, that’s right. Pear Note 3 for Mac is now out for all of you. Pear Note 3 for Mac adds several new features, including support for auto save and versions, full-screen mode, HD video recording, and support for taking notes on Skype calls. And, it’s a free update for all of you who already purchased Pear Note for Mac.

Optimized for Lion

Pear Note 3 adds support for several new features present in Mac OS X Lion. Auto save and versions are two features that work together to prevent users from losing data. Versions of a document are continually saved automatically as a user works. If there’s ever a problem, a user can browse back through history to see what the document looked like at any time in the past. Also, full-screen mode has been added.

Under-the-hood improvements

Pear Note 3 includes a completely new recording and playback engine when running on Lion or later. This is not something you can look at and see as a user, but it does enable things to get better in a lot of ways. For instance, it improves efficiency while recording. Also, it enables new recording settings including high bitrate audio and HD 720p video recording (assuming you have a HD-capable camera).

Skype integration

Pear Note 3 also integrates with Call Recorder for Skype from Ecamm to enable users to take notes on Skype calls. Call Recorder will record the call, including audio and video, while Pear Note synchronizes its timeline with the recorded Skype call. This means notes can be taken on virtual meetings just as they can be taken on physical ones.

Updated look

The look of Pear Note has also been updated, including a minor facelift to the app and a brand new icon.

Pear Note for iPad update

Also, Pear Note 1.0.4 for iPad is available today which brings improved compatibility with Pear Note 3 for Mac as well as Retina graphics for the new iPad and a new icon to match the new Mac icon.


In my excitement I left out a couple important details that you should all know about:

  1. Pear Note 3 supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and later. If you’re still running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5), you’ll have to stick with Pear Note 2. Don’t worry, there’s a link to the latest version of Pear Note 2 on the website in case you ever need to re-download it.
  2. Pear Note 3 no longer includes in-app search. Previous versions of Pear Note had a search box to search your entire system for notes from within Pear Note itself. I wasn’t sure whether to create this feature in the first place given that Mac OS X already had a feature (Spotlight) that did the same thing. Ultimately, I decided that Spotlight just wan’t good enough and so created the in-app search box. Over time, Spotlight has gotten much better. As of Mac OS X Lion, Spotlight has become much more functional than and just as fast as the in-app search in Pear Note. Also, the App Store is about to require all apps sold in it to be sandboxed, and full system search is not permitted for a sandboxed apps. So, the feature has been removed, and you should use Spotlight directly instead now. For more information, see the help.

Apps for Water

December 20th, 2011

charity: water

In the spirit of Christmas, several developers have decided to band together to support a worthwhile cause. That cause is charity: water, an organization devoted to bringing clean, safe water to people in developing nations. While those of us in developed nations may take easy access to clean water for granted, unsafe water is one of the leading killers in developing nations. charity: water takes aim at this problem.

So, we simple app developers have banded together to form Apps for Water. For today, December 20, 2011, we will donate all income to charity: water. For me, that includes sales of Pear Note for Mac here on this site and in Apple’s App Store, as well as sales of Pear Note for iPad in the App Store. There are lots of other great apps to purchase as well, so make sure you check out everything else.

So, buy some useful software and help a great cause. You’ve only got until the end of the day.

Pear Note for iPad

September 8th, 2011

Pear Note for iPad is now available on the App Store!

And, for a limited time, it’s only $4.99.

I won’t spend too much time talking about features here, as you can just click on Pear Note for iPad above to see that. The highlights are:

  • Timestamped audio recording – just like you’re used to in Pear Note for Mac
  • Rich text notes – yes, actual rich text notes where you can bold a word, make something a heading, highlight a key point, use bullets or numbered lists to make an outline, and more
  • Dropbox syncing – easily move notes between your iPads and Macs automatically

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What about the iPhone? – I wanted 1.0 to be a universal app for both iPad and iPhone, but the timing didn’t work out. I plan to make a future version universal, but it likely won’t be released before 2012. This is actually one of the reasons I decided to cut the price in half for now. So, buy it now while it’s a deal, then get the update to universal later for free!
  • What about video? – You can play back video recorded in Pear Note for Mac today. I’m considering adding video recording to Pear Note for iPad in a future version if there’s enough demand. So, drop me a note to let me know that you want it if you’re interested.
  • Can I use a bluetooth keyboard with Pear Note for iPad? – Yes
  • Can I use an external USB microphone with Pear Note for iPad? – Believe it or not, yes, though you need the USB adapter from the iPad Camera Connection Kit

Coming soon to an App Store near you

August 31st, 2011

Pear Note for iPad is coming very soon. I can’t say exactly how soon, as Apple is in control of that. It has been submitted to Apple, and will be available for purchase on the App Store whenever they approve it. In the mean time you can learn more about what’s coming by looking at the new Pear Note for iPad page here on this site.

Also, Pear Note for Mac 2.1 is now available. The main change in 2.1 is an updated file format that is compatible with Pear Note for iPad. Pear Note for iPad can sync notes via Dropbox with other iPads or Macs running Pear Note. If you’d like to sync over old notes, you’ll have to open them with Pear Note for Mac 2.1 and re-save them. They’ll be updated to the new file format, making them readable in Pear Note for iPad.

There’s another small but very important change in Pear Note 2.1. Pear Note and Lion did not get along as well as I had hoped, resulting in a bug there that could cause recordings to disappear. I apologize to any of you that lost recordings due to this, but it’s fixed in Pear Note 2.1. If you’ve upgraded to Lion, I recommend you update Pear Note for Mac to 2.1 immediately to avoid running into this.