Skip to main content

Vesper now lets you collect your thoughts in landscape — and on iPad!

Vesper — the thought-collection app by Brent Simmons, Dave Wiskus, and John Gruber — has been updated to support Apple's new adaptive interface frameworks. And yes, that means Vesper now lets you note and tag in landscape on you iPhone and on your iPad.

If all you've ever made are brief reminders or lists, the additional space might not mean much to you. It lets you use the landscape keyboard, which some prefer, but text benefits from the large screen mostly when you enter a lot of it. So, I expect those that use Vesper to collect not only thoughts but drafts will be happiest with the new, wider options.

Big screen notes and images are one only one aspect of the change, however. Being able to have all your notes follow you from iPhone to iPad — thanks to Vesper sync — is another. It makes a useful yet dedicated place to keep your thoughts into a universal place to store and access them.

Also new, standard Share sheet support, so you can send your Vesper notes to any app that supports Share extensions, and do anything to them that available as an action extension.

I've been using the new version of Vesper since it went into beta and the transition really has been pulled off with the usual Q Branch minimalism and elegance. Typing on my iPad is still a joy, and typing into Vesper that way is joyous.

That said, I'm not sure how much I'll use the new modes for text entry. The biggest plus for me is availability.

The newly universal version of Vesper is a free update for existing customers and is currently available on sale for $7.99 for new customers.

John Gruber, writing about the new pricing on Daring Fireball:

Put another way, we're going to charge something sane or die trying. We tried following the iOS App Store trend by pricing Vesper at just $2.99 for months. It didn't work. Prices like that are not sane, and not sustainable, at least for well-crafted productivity apps. So Q Branch is drawing a line in the sand, and we hope other iOS developers will follow.

You can also read about why they went iPad instead of the previously announced Mac app at the Vesper blog.

Disclosure: I co-host a podcast with Dave Wiskus so check other reviews and get a well-rounded sense of the app if you're at all unsure about it.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

18 Comments
  • I don't see what makes this app special, it doesn't even have a share extension. I know it supposed to be simple but it's not as useful as Evernote or Day One. Plus, it's expensive for an app that doesn't offer much utility.
  • Agreed. I admire Gruber and all, but I think the design of this app is lacking in many ways. It's one of those apps that's designed in a "special" way for a "special" small group of people who are all either friends or in the same business, (or both) and thus have a similar aesthetic and similar needs. For instance, if you don't care about Mark-up (and truly the majority of folks in the world do not give a crap about it), then this app is just a very expensive, glorified "text-edit" app with extra-limited utility. If you don't "get" the app, the implication is that you are some kind of idiot or someone who "doesn't know good design" which is not only untrue, it's downright insulting. These are the kind of apps that give developers an (often well deserved), reputation for being "haughty" and out of touch with normal folks.
  • I guess you won't watch this http://www.imore.com/how-design-apps-human-beings "What Dave suggests — thinking about the human at the other end and working backwards — is a powerful exercise. Even if your app ends up the same, it's because it should be that way, not because you just wanted it to be that way."
  • I think the biggest problem, honestly, is that humans have a hard time accepting different opinions as equally valid — that there can be more than one truth. I use Tweetbot for Twitter because, like Tweetie before it, it fits the way my brain handles Twitter. Other people prefer the Twitter App or Twitterrific because that's how their brains work. Some people want simpler and others more complex. Some want tagging and others search. It's just like food. If someone orders Vesper off the menu because that's what they like, great, good for them! Vesper if for people whose tastes and needs align with Brent and Dave and John, and that's fine. If your tastes are different, that's fine too. Find what works for you and enjoy it.
  • Tell Gruber that next time he insults people for having different tastes than himself.
  • It's basically part of a great big circle-jerk. A bunch of these bloggers (some of them actually think they're writers, believe it or not) who have a vested interest in Apple and the "indie dev scene" (which is basically just their own clique) continously waxing lyrical about each other at levels that would make even boy-bands shiver. Having said that, I do use Vesper, not as a note taking app but as a journal of sorts (my life isn't interesting enough to warrant Day One). It works well for that. Gruber's can be a bit of a twat at times, but I figured the other two devs did most of the work and deserved some money. For the serious stuff, I have an Evernote Premium subscription. Also, a $5 price jump is a bit much, whether you're part of the Apple journalist-blogger circle-jerk or not. Sure, it's a universal app now, but it's still mostly just a scrap-book with pretty fonts.
  • It's the tagging. You can put in notes and add a tag and then quickly find them again based on that tag. If your brain works that way, it's exactly the way you want to work.
  • But Evernote has always done that and much more--what am I missing here? That said, EN's design sucks and I've always had the heebie jeebies about the files being exportable down the road.
  • I've tried Evernote a dozen or so times and it never stuck with me.
  • Finally!
  • I'll skip the super-expensive new Vesper. I only use it for to-do lists, which could easily be handled by the default Notes app. And for fancier notes I use Pages. For me, Vesper has little value-add (and yes, I know all about the tagging feature.)
  • It's the same Vesper. Free update. And I hope $7.99 isn't considered "super expensive" for iPhone apps, because it means we're telling developers we don't want great, sophisticated apps on iOS unless they're a value add for some big company or service.
  • I'm not a fan of this particular app, but I absolutely appreciate the "line in the sand" Gruber wrote they drew on pricing and hope it sticks. Sent from the iMore App
  • Most note and journal apps do tagging and can sort and filter by those tags, there is nothing special here. The only thing I like is that you can change the font size, I'm visually impaired. But there is not share extension which is a huge miss now that we have iOS 8 and the better note apps enable extensions.
  • An incredibly unexceptional app.
  • I love the app. It works and it's beautiful. When they get it working on the Mac, it'll replace Simplenote, which Gruber recommended a long time ago, as my primary note-taking app.
  • Updated with comments from Gruber on Daring Fireball about the pricing, and a link to the Vesper Blog which explains why the went iPad next instead of Mac.
  • It's true that app prices are too low for "well-crafted" productivity apps but this is not one of them. If you have a note app in iOS 8 then you should have a share sheet extension or even a widget. There is not enough here to justify spending or charging $8. It's basically the iOS Notes app with tags and an archive.