Evernote will bring its core desktop application to the Windows Store on August 2. And in doing so, it will also halt development of its mobile companion app, called Evernote Touch.
“On August 2, 2016, Evernote Touch will be replaced with the full-featured Evernote for Windows desktop app in the Windows Store,” an Evernote statement explains. “Customers who currently use Evernote Touch can continue to do so, but it will no longer be available for download or update.”
To be clear, Evernote is not developing a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of its app. Instead, it is using Microsoft’s Project Centennial technologies to wrap its current Windows desktop (Win32) application in a UWP shell, so it can be offered through the Store.
To some Windows enthusiasts, this will be disappointing for reasons I find hard to understand. But I think of this as a victory, for Evernote, for its users, and for Microsoft.
For Evernote, this means that they don’t need to develop and maintain a separate UWP version of its app. And all one needs to do is look at the mess with Skype and all its separate app versions, each with its own unique features, to understand why going full native on every platform makes absolutely no sense at all.
For Evernote users, this means a consistent, well-understood, and full-featured app will continue to be available on Windows, and on Windows 10 in particular it can easily be updated to utilize unique Windows 10/UWP features. (Evernote has not said anything about doing so, however.) You don’t have to use a toy app like Evernote Touch.
(Note too that using the Project Centennial versions of apps like Evernote is safer than using the original desktop version because they are packaged, or wrapped, in UWP containers. These apps are also more easily installed and removed, and will not gunk up the Registry with spurious items.)
And for Microsoft, this brings another high-quality app to Windows Store, something that is sorely needed, while providing a real-world example of how well Project Centennial can work to bring legacy applications forward into the modern world. It’s proof that the platform works, and that the value proposition of Windows 10 is real.
Put simply, this is good news. And it will be great news is Evernote chooses to take advantage of unique UWP features as well: That would make the Store version of the app that much better than the standard desktop version.