Simplenote Lifeline

January 25, 2013 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Simperium, the makers of the Simplenote iOS app and the Simplenote syncing service, have been acquired by Automattic, the makers of WordPress.org. I'm cautiously hopeful for this change.

I miss Simplenote desperately. It was great for several years but this past year it took a serious nosedive.1 It chewed through my data and lost new notes and old notes indiscriminately without any notice from Simperium or the apps they make. It's that lack of transparency that caused me to finally kill off my subscription. Each time I reported a problem, the response back indicated they were aware of the bugs and were working on them. A known bug was eating my data.2

Today I feel like a jilted lover stalking their ex. I continue to check the developer discussion board and see many repeat complaints about bad syncing and data corruption. If you want to get a feel for how well a service is doing, Twitter searches are a great way to do it. Because I miss the halcyon days of great Simplenote syncing, I search Twitter for "simplenote" regularly. I see a lot of people leaving Simplenote because of corrupted data. That has the smell of rot and makes me sad.

Now Automattic has a chance to throw some money at solving Simplenote's problems. My hope is that money is the easy solution. The Simperium team have good ideas about how plain text syncing should work. I'll eagerly read about every improvement in the future. I'll continue to check the developer discussion boards and search Twitter. It will take a lot to bring me back in to the fold though. Dropbox syncing is almost flawless and that's a pretty high bar. While tags and fast full-text searching are wonderful features of Simplenote, in the end data integrity wins the day.


  1. I'm what little minds would think of as a "fanboy". I had high hopes for Simperium

  2. While I was able to recover my documents through a combination of Simplenote restores and backups, the time stamps on the files were changed. That's a big deal for someone with a 1,000 notes. 

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