What can I say about Bear? Yes, it’s a writing app. Yes, it’s specifically for Mac OS and iOS devices. Yes, it’s free. And yes, I bought it.
Wait! WTF, Robyn? It’s free and you bought it? Well, yes. That’s how apps are marketed, right? The basic app is free, but if you want all the bells and whistles, you have to buy the app. Or, in Bear’s case, a subscription. Here’s what its creators have to say about that:
The core version of Bear for iOS and Mac is free.
Bear Pro offer advanced features, including sync between all your devices, application themes and exporting, which can be unlocked via a single subscription that covers all your devices.
The Bear Pro subscription comes in two variant $1.49 monthly or $14.99 annually.
Prices may vary from location to location due to local taxation laws and conversion rates from U.S. Dollars.
So the free version runs on one device (although you can install it on more than one), and the paid subscription allows you to sync all of your projects on all of your devices.
For me, it’s important to be able to synch my iPhone and my iPad. Evernote is a great app, but the storage space on my iPhone is limited, so I only have it on my iPad and my laptop. And where Evernote keeps its data files on both devices, Bear uses the cloud for storage. In plain English, that means Bear only takes up 22Mb on my iPhone, as opposed to Evernote’s 105Mb (and climbing).
I Don’t Use Bear For Writing on my iPhone
I used to have several blogging apps on my iPhone. I’ve replaced them all with Bear—saving even more space. I used them to jot down ideas for blog posts. I never actually write any blog entries: the iPhone keyboard is too small for any lengthy typing. And I don’t write with Bear on the phone, either; rather, I use it to jot down notes and ideas for articles and blog posts. Once I’m home, I can either compose an article on my iPad, or export the notes in a format I can then edit on my PC using LibreOffice.
This also lets me free up space in my purse, since I don’t have to carry a notepad and pen with me: Bear has also replaced them.
Bear features at a glance
- Advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 20 programming languages
- Rich previews while writing so you see prose, not code
- In-line support for images and photos
- Use Cross-Note Links to build a body of work, quickly reference other notes, and more
- Quickly add to-dos to individual notes to keep yourself on task
- Multiple themes to offer a style for everyone
- Multiple export options including HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and more
- Smart Data Recognition of elements like links, emails, addresses, colors, and more to come
- Hashtags to quickly find and organize notes however you like
- One-tap formatting on iPhone and iPad with a custom shortcut bar
- Focus Mode hides notes and other options when it matters
- All your notes are stored in plain text for the ultimate in portability
- Effortless, secure, and private multi-device sync via iCloud
- Regular updates to keep you and your writing current
The Learning Curve
Because Bear is a powerful writing tool, with many capabilities, the learning curve is rather steep. But if I can do it, anybody can!
If you’re looking for a powerful writing tool for your Macintosh, iPhone, or iPad, you can’t go wrong with Bear. Give it a try.