SOHO Notes is now Notelife.
I've been a user of SOHO Notes since version 1.0. It has been an indispensable tool, integral to my daily work flow for years and years.
I'm a private IT consultant with 500+ clients. SOHO Notes holds all the private accounts, logins, passwords, alarm codes, gate codes, etc, etc, etc for all my clients. 99% of the data belongs to other people, not me. I’m just the custodian of the data. No way is it my right to cloud sync data of this nature, so having local syncing is a must.
Several years ago Chronos finally released an iOS companion app called NoteLife (iPhone) and NoteLife HD (iPad). Finally SOHO Notes in my pocket. Fantastic!
Anyhow, Chronos recently killed SOHO Notes. I had been checking the site weekly for months hoping that the serious bugs introduced with macOS Sierra’s release would be addressed in an update. Finally when I made my check on June 13th, I was greeted with a new updated home page heralding the “Coming Soon” release of “A premium note manager for the rest of us” - NoteLife. There was a button to buy a special 18 month subscription for $20.00. I clicked the button, made the purchase and received an eMail with my License Key and Download Link. I was surprised that there was a download link for a product listed as “Coming Soon”. I thought great, they’re giving the early birds an early version, but no. Clicking on the download link brought me right back to the main product page. There was no language stating anything about when I might get the product I had just paid for. Annoyed already!
I opened a trouble ticket on Chronos’s support portal. To date I have received no reply. When I login to the portal my ticket is still listed as “being processed” a month later. So much for customer service.
I kept checking the site everyday for a download. Several days after I purchased, the site had been updated again, but this time the button to purchase had been removed. Finally last Friday the download link appeared - excited to FINALLY see what I had paid for a month ago.
Beyond disappointed! Where to begin?
They took an amazingly functional app with a long legacy of innovation and unique features and replaced it with a slash and burn, hatchet job of an app, renaming it NoteLife. They removed virtually all of SOHO's rich feature set and whittled it down to minimalist kids app. On top of it, they moved to a subscription based model which I would have totally been behind had the product been a modernized version of it formal glory, instead of useless regurgitation of Apple's own useless Notes app and the sea of other mediocre “Notes” apps on offer at the App Store. The subscription was described as a necessary change in their business model to ensure continued development. I understand that, but they have years of future development ahead of them to get the app anywhere close to what SOHO Notes was.
NoteLife migrates your SOHO 9.3.7 database into it’s new database, but what a half assed effort that is. Like I said, I have over 500 clients. All this data was nested in an organized hierarchy of folders in SOHO Notes. The migration did not retain the nested hierarchy. Instead, it imported each folder to the top level. I had to spend over 2 hours going back and forth between SOHO Notes and NoteLife moving folders around to rebuild the hierarchy. Really? What a joke.
NoteLife does not have note types. All the notes are rich text (rtf) files. SOHO Notes had many different types of notes. My data consisted of many different notes types. All my form notes were converted to rich text loosing all of the usefulness of the Form type. All my PDFs, of which I have hundreds, became attachments to rtf files, represented in NoteLife as a thumbnail. The interface still sports the familiar three column arrangement with the big preview pane on the right. However, since PDF’s have been relegated to an attachmnet, when you select a PDF note the big preview pane is blank, only displaying a tiny thumbnail of page 1 of a PDF. To view the PDF you have to click on the thumbnail which opens a large black window in the middle of your screen displaying the PDF within it. There are no tools of any kind for zooming, navigation, or any other familiar and expected interaction modes.
But, worst of all, you can only sort your notes by Modify or Create date. Thats it. No alphabetical option. Unbelievable. I guess the developer skipped “Sorting 101”.
The promised and currently advertised on Chronos’s website iOS app is still a no show on the App Store, so I have no info on it. Given what I have seen from the desktop version, which historically has richer feature sets than iOS counterparts, I can only expect an even poorer offering.
I will be demanding my money back if I can ever get ahold of anyone at Chronos. If not, I’ll be disputing the charge. I’ll get my money back one way or another. NoteLife is useless for my needs. I was expecting to move forward in a modernized version of an app I have used for a ages, not take a trip back a decade.
Stay away from this piece O’ crap. Don’t waist your time. Research and look for an alternative, you’ll be happier. I am going to move over to NoteBooks at notebooksapp dot com. The local sync feature is of paramount importance to me and this app offers wifi local sync and ticks most of the boxes for my other needs.