Vesper, the notes app by Brent Simmons, Dave Wiskus, and John Gruber, will be shutting down in the very near future. The reason, when you cut to it, is simple: Vesper didn't make enough money to support its ongoing development.

Brent Simmons, writing at inessential:

We at Q Branch just released the final version of Vesper. It does one crucial thing: it allows you to export your notes and pictures. See the new Export section in the sidebar.

Sync will be turned off Aug. 30 at 8pm Pacific. We'll destroy all the data, and neither we nor anyone else will be able to recover it.

The app will be removed from the App Store on Sep. 15. Until then, starting now, it's free — since you can't create new sync accounts, and it wouldn't be fair to charge new users if they can't sync.

John Gruber, writing on Daring Fireball:

iOS 7, in addition to looking all-new, introduced new architectural features like size classes. In the pre-iOS 7 era, building an iPad app was like building a second app. You could bundle it together with the iPhone version in a universal binary, but from a developer's perspective it was nearly twice the work. If we had started with iOS 7, we might been able to natively support the iPad from day one on iOS, so the actual schedule might have looked like this:

  • Build Vesper for Mac. Sell it for around $20.
  • Build a sync system.
  • Build Vesper for iOS 7, with native support for iPhone and iPad.
  • Maybe build a web version.

I'm a firm believer that you always need some good luck to succeed. We would have been luckier, timing-wise, if we had done the Mac app first, because we would have been able to build the iOS version for iOS 7 right from the start.

I used Vesper a lot. I enjoyed its style and sensibilities. I'm sad to see it go, both as an app and as an indicator of how hard it is to thrive with indie apps.

Apple Notes doesn't have the same aesthetic, but its ubiquity makes it an easy go-to if you're looking for a replacement.