Saturday, September 12, 2009

SymbianNote - Evernote for Symbian - My first WRT Widget

Evernote for S60 v5: hosted on Google Code.

After playing around with the WRT kit and navigating the documentation for the WRT kit and the beta version of platform services 2.0 (you would think these would be more easily available online!), I have created my first WRT App for Symbian v5 phones (eg, 5800XM and N97, etc...).

Version 1 of the app does the following:
  1. Provides 1 touch (or run in the background) access to Evernote online
    • Add quick notes
    • Search and view notes already uploaded to the service
  2. Send notes with /  without attachments to Evernote via e-mail.
  3. Add your personalized Evernote incoming e-mail address to your contacts list with only 1 touch.  As a contact, it is easier to send files and notes to Evernote from other applications on the phones.
  4. Check for updates (in the About view)
Some obervations about WRT:
  1. The 5800 is not powerful enough or does not have a recent enough version of webkit for its browser to properly display jQuery UI effects.  Effects that are very smooth on the PC and emulator are jerky and incomplete on the actual phone. Hopefully, the new firmware rumored to be coming in October will improve the performance of the browser and JavaScript engine
  2. WRT still needs a lot more work before it is a very useful toolkit
    • Its APIs are still fairly limited. I wanted to use the Messaging API to send e-mails directly from the application but no such API exists yet. It only supports MMS and SMS (and even the addressing of those messages is limited).
    • Users should be able to set security preferences one time for an app and not have to approve every use of an API by an application.  This is a problem with some Java apps as well. Users should have the choice to setup the security preferences one time for each app.  The constant request for approval (just like Vista) is very frustrating.
    • The new camera API looks promising, but until the e-mail api exists it will be useless for Evernote (although other apps could work fine).
I hope you enjoy the app and I welcome your feedback on bugs and improvements.  Once I figure out how to upload source code to Google Code and not just final packages, I'll put up the source code as well.

Direct Download link:

Link to Google Code Project Page:

I'll try to add some screenshots soon.


  1. Thanks This is a great app for my n97 thanks for your work.

  2. Its alright, but on my phone (nokia 5800) its pretty slow. Infact, too slow to work with. It is a fantastic idea...but until it gets a wee bitty faster, I can't really work with it.

    Which is a shame really. Keep up the work tho.

  3. Any release for Symbian S60v3?

    Very interesting project man, i would pay for a nice app like this..

  4. @Jose
    I do not have any v3 devices to try this out on with me. I think it may work for 3fp2 devices if you have the latest browser installed. Then again, the documentation is pretty spotty and I am note sure what functions would work due to differences in the WRT versions each platform has installed.

    If you have a recent 3.2 device, could you try testing it and letting me know what does and does not work?

  5. Got it installed on my N97 and will try and have a play with it this week. Either way, thanks for stepping up and filling a gaping chasm left by the Evernote developers (they have every platform BUT Symbian which is ridiculous).

  6. Just tried it on my E71 (s60v3?). It gets as far as 'loading...' on the intro screen and doesn't seem to go any further. What a shame!

  7. I am going to try it on my N97. Thank you very very much!


  9. Hi Michael.
    Thanks for your effort. I'll be testing the app later today. Are you considering making a Dropbox WRT app? I am a Dropbox and S60v5 user myself (and a web developer too), so I could help with such a project a little. I am not sure, though, if WRT allows to interface the file system.

    I would love to do a dropbox WRT client but there is no filesystem access is out of the question.

    The only value add is to basically use the iphone web interface to navigate. for that I would recommend going there in the browser and bookmarking it. Then add the bookmark as one of your shortcuts on the homescreen.


  11. I would love a s60v3 version as well. I have an E71 btw.

  12. Hoping for a Sym 60v3 too! E71 user as well. Keep up the great work.

  13. Hi Michael,

    are you still developing evernote for symbian? If you are, then I'd be very happy to help you by providing feedback and testing.

    I think the first version of your app is a good start, but it's far too slow to use on my N97. I think rather than trying to make it 'fully featured' there are some basic mobile usecases that it could support which would make it hugely more usable. But I don't want to make any suggestions unless you still want to develop the app further.

    Thanks for stepping in where both Evernote and Nokia have failed, btw!

    Regards, Chris D.

  14. Am I missing something - is there some way of storing username/password on my phone so that I don't have to type in this every time?

    Otherwise I am really impressed, and think that you should be able to sell this app if you develop a little further and choose to do so. 220 million devices out there (or so I heard) and evernote seems to be increasing in popularity.

  15. I agree - having to type in your authentication details is showstoppingly bad usability (I have the same problem). I also have the same problem with evernote's mobile site on the native nokia browser.

    On Opera 10 beta I can't get it to recognise my password at all (possibly because it contains a hash character which evernote handles fine, but opera doesn't seem to know).

    On Opera 5 Mini it remembers the username and password no problem but doesn't allow me to edit or even apend to an existing note!

    Basically, my experience of using evernote on a Nokia 97 is completely abysmal all round.

  16. @chrisdymond
    I will do a little more development to see if I can improve the performance by upgrading jQuery to 1.4.

    I tried the official beta from Evernote and it could not run nearly at all because of performance issues (although the desired functionality was good in the app)

    Without a webkit update to the browser (would need to come with a firmware update), performance will always be an issue.

    For much better functionality we will need an updated WRT version that gives more permissions. Nokia has released the API bridge that allows some more functionality but it requires packaging and deploying the widget as a .sis file, which basically defeats the purpose of writing it as a widget in the first place.

    @To all S60v3 users out there
    I think it will work if you can install the S60 browser 7.1. I am writing this based on WRT 1.1 and I will not back port it to WRT 1.0 but you are free to modify it yourselves. The WGZ file is just a zip file with a different extension. Feel free to modify and make it your own.

    On mine, I do not have the user/password problem. Could it be a settings issue on your phone? The login is cookie-based so as long as you keep your cookies it should remember you for the time that Evernote allows.

  17. works almost fine on E52.
    * no 240 width support (but in horizontal mode everything's fine with it)
    * some top-bar popr out every time i press a button during login. Almost mede me stop trying, but I finally made it.
    * No cursor - some links are inaccesible

    If there wewe a cursor I'd say app is ready to use with s60v3 fp2