Drew’s discussion on the iPad Pros podcast made me excited for upcoming features.
I was also glad to hear that little development had been done on the integration of the Apple Pencil.
I don’t want to be a villian, but I’d like to make a case against prioritizing that feature development.
First off: Pencil integration would be handy. I have been using “smart” stylus devices for a decade (Lenovo Wacom penabled tablet PCs long before the iPad Pro was even an idea) and love writing and drawing on these devices.
It would also be a decent move from a business standpoint. Pencil integration is one of those features that catches headlines and might draw a substantial number of new users.
That said, I wonder how it aligns strategically. I don’t know much about what Apple provides to support Pencil development, so maybe it’s no big deal to implement basic support, and doing so won’t come at a cost to additional new features. But if Pencil integration is basic, then what’s the point? I imagine a basic implementation looking something like Evernote’s sketches—arbitrary inserted images that, while nice, are little different from drawing in another app and dropping it in a note. And if that’s the case, I’d be likely to just keep doing that: using other, better drawing apps and dropping those items in.
To do better than “basic” support would probably mean handwriting recognition or OneNote-style “Draw anywhere” functionality. I’d love either of these things, but I imagine the development work would be substantial.
I’m also wary of the competitive environment. Evernote, OneNote and other apps provide decent-to-great support in the domain of styluses, and if either wanted to be evil and move on Agenda’s territory by tying notes and dates closer together, it might be bad news in terms of differentiation.
On the podcast, Drew talks about Agenda’s “Apple integrations” strategy, which I celebrated—it makes a lot of sense to leverage built-in data types to bring our notes together in holistic ways. It’s also strategically clever: the tight integrations are hard to imitate. So, I hope that Agenda continues to advance in this way—it’s a unique sell. Rather than spend time developing features like Pencil support to achieve basic feature parity with other notes apps, keep doing what you’re doing: building smart, elegant ways to bring people’s lives together.*
*this last bit is a little romantic, maybe, but it felt like it needed to be dramatic.