A few weeks ago, Notebooks celebrated its 5th anniversary (something we are a little proud of). This is an opportunity to thank you for using Notebooks and for continuously providing your feedback, ideas and requests. We keep an endless list of your suggestions, with encryption and better PDF support being two of the most prominent ones.

This anniversary brings a change as well: today we introduce Notebooks 7, a version which fully adapts the iOS 7 interface, and which requires iOS 7 to run. So this is not a simple update, it is a new app, and as such it is the first paid upgrade in five years. – But this also gives you the choice to either stay with Notebooks 6 and its “classic” interface, or to move to Notebooks 7.

If you purchased Notebooks 6 within the past 30 days and want to upgrade to Notebooks 7 now, you could contact Apple through your iTunes account, ask for a refund for Notebooks 6 and repurchase Notebooks 7.

Notebooks 7 comes in two flavors: the universal version, which runs on both iPad and iPhone, and an iPhone specific version, which runs on the iPhone and iPod touch. So if you have both, an iPad and an iPhone, you would go for the universal version.

Of course we have extended the functionality of Notebooks 7 as well:

Additions

  • Create eBooks from the currently selected documents or from the current book and all of its contents (this is how we create the eBook version of the Notebooks handbook)
  • Compile selected documents or the selected book and all of its contents into one single, formatted document (this is how we create the PDF version of our handbook: we take this formatted document and convert it to PDF)
  • Improved Markdown highlighting: instead of using colors, Notebooks now applies text formats. – For performance reasons, highlighting is inactive while your are typing, but is activated as soon as you hide the keyboard.
  • A new action Quick sync Dropbox to sync just the current document.
  • New option to set line spacing for documents. On iOS 7, the default line spacing for plain text is rather narrow, which makes text hard to read. Notebooks now uses a line spacing of 1.1 by default, but you are free to change that in the range of 1 to 2 (single to double).
  • When using an external keyboard, the following keyboard shortcuts are supported
    • cmd-B – Markdown bold
    • cmd-I – Markdown italic
    • cmd-K – Markdown struck through (“k” because the same key is available in NB/Mac)
    • cmd-U – HTML underline
    • cmd-T – insert timestamp
    • cmd-return – stop editing (like tapping “Done” button)

Known Issues

Unfortunately, there are a few minor issues as well:

  • Formatted documents don’t show the cut/copy/paste menu on the first couple of lines (when they are too close to the top). This is an iOS 7 issue, but there are two possible workarounds for now:
    • add a few empty lines at the beginning of document
    • select “use fullscreen for editing”
  • Editing formatted documents that are shorter than one page: when you don’t tap the text directly, the keyboard may appear, but there may be no active cursor. Tapping outside the text a second time causes a crash. This is an iOS 7 issue, too. To avoid it, please tap on the text, at least the second time.
  • On 64-bit devices like the iPhone 5S, the iPad mini retina or the iPad Air, there is an issue with voice memo recording. We will provide a fix asap.
  • Finally, the link to the Quickstart Guide, available from the Getting Started document, is broken (due to an embarrassing last minute change). If you read this on an iPhone or iPad with Notebooks installed, you can use this link instead.
    Alternatively, you can also download the guide from the download aera.

So we want to thank you again for using Notebooks, and we wish you a Happy New Year.

5th Anniversary and Notebooks 7

12 thoughts on “5th Anniversary and Notebooks 7

  • December 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm
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    I was just checking this site the other day, looking for info on the Mac version, and started wondering how long the free updates were going to continue, and now I know 🙂

    I’m not going to get the universal version right away because I’m broke, but somewhere down the line, definitely (when I have money again or start browsing the app store drunk, whichever comes first).
    I’ve been using Notebooks a lot over the last few years, and there still isn’t anything better around, so yeah, it’s gonna happen.

    Do you have any idea yet how the Mac version is going to be priced?

    • January 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm
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      Hi Flexmeister,

      good to hear you like Notebooks and that you are considering the upgrade to Notebooks 7.

      If all goes well, Notebooks/Mac will reach its final state around the end of this month, and there will be an introductory offer as well. The price will be above that of the iOS version, but don’t worry, it won’t be outrageous 😉

      Schöne Grüße,
      Alfons

  • January 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm
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    Hi Alfons,

    I’ve had the iPhone and iPad apps for a few years. I downloaded the free Notebooks 7 version. I like the look, and there are a couple of new features that interest me. I’ve also been using the beta version for Mac and expect to purchase it when it is released in the App Store. I’m wondering if Notebooks 6 will continue to be supported and if it will be compatible with the App Store release of Notebooks for Mac, or has Notebooks 6 had its last update?
    I do think it is entirely reasonable for you to release a new app at this point, btw.
    Thanks! And best wishes for a happy 2014!
    Donna

    • January 7, 2014 at 8:16 am
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      Hi Donna,

      thanks a lot for your feedback, and a happy New Year to you, too!

      Notebooks 6 is and will remain compatible with Notebooks for Mac. The topic of continued support for Notebooks 6 is a little more difficult, though. Originally we planned to have one or two more minor updates to Notebooks 6, but the App Store rules require that beginning Feb 2014, all apps and app updates use their latest development environment. With this environment it is no longer possible to build apps with the native iOS 6 interface – which makes it impossible for us further maintain Notebooks 6. However, Notebooks 6 will remain functional as long as iOS supports iOS 6 apps.

      Best,
      Alfons

  • January 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm
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    Alfons, I have another question since I posted the above. I’m testing the Lite version. How does one compile docs into a single PDF document as mentioned above?
    Thanks!

    • January 7, 2014 at 8:17 am
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      The “Compile” and “Create eBook” actions is not available in Notebooks Lite.

    • January 9, 2014 at 9:20 am
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      Hi Cornelius,

      I guess you are referring to the link that should download the Quickstart Guide… A “last minute change” messed things up a bit unfortunately, and we will fix that in the next minor update. In the meantime, clicking the link below on an iPhone or iPad with Notebooks installed will correctly import the guide:

      notebooks://grab/http://www.notebooksapp.com/Download/Quickstart.pdf

      Sorry for this…

  • January 10, 2014 at 6:11 am
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    Alfons,

    Just a note to say THANK YOU for your continued work on Notebooks. I think the app is great, didn’t hesitate to upgrade to the new version. For everything it does, the price is very, very reasonable. As soon as you add the PDF annotating, I really will be able to stop using any other apps for getting work done! 🙂

    Anyway, thanks again for an outstanding app which is my go to app for doing just about everything on my iPad!

    Mark

    • January 10, 2014 at 9:06 am
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      Thank you Mark, we are glad to hear you like Notebooks 🙂

  • January 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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    Hi Alfons,

    thanks for the updated version, I was just about to buy the iPad version of Notebooks, so the new universal app came along at exactly the right time.

    Do I miss something, or are Markdown Documents quite burdensome to create?
    I tapped New Text Note, edited the note, then tapped More -> Edit… -> Format document … -> More -> Convert to Markdown.
    Is there a shortcut doing this?

    Regards, Thomas

    • January 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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      Hi Thomas,

      thanks a lot for your feedback.

      Fortunately, there are a few shortcuts to create Markdown documents:

      – Notebooks’ settings have an option to show Markdown as a separate document type. This way you can tap “New Markdown” instead of “New Text Note” and you don’t need to manually convert the document.
      – Alternatively – or in addition – you find a setting that tells Notebooks to automatically detect Markdown in your plain text document. So when you start with plain text and use any of the Markdown shortcut keys, Notebooks converts the note to Markdown when you close the keyboard.

      I hope that helps.
      Best,
      Alfons

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