Bear
Bear
1.7.3

3.8

Bear free download for Mac

Bear

1.7.3
16 September 2019

Writing app for notes and prose.

Overview

Bear is a flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose. Link notes to each other to build a body of work. Use hashtags to organize for the way you think. And yet, all notes are stored in plain, portable text. Bear is perfect for everything from quick notes, to code snippets, to in-depth essays.

A focus mode helps you concentrate, and advanced Markdown and other markup options are an online writer's best friend. Full in-line image support brings your writing to life, and keep yourself on task by adding todos to individual notes. Bear can instantly search all your notes, but it can also focus on specific things with Search Triggers. Use @task to find all your todos, @tagged "ideas" to find your notes that are waiting to blossom, or @files to find all notes with attachments.

Features:
  • Rich previews while writing so you see prose, not code
  • In-line support for images and photos
  • Advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 20 programming languages
  • Use Cross-Note Links to build a body of work, quickly reference other notes, and more
  • Quickly add todos to individual notes to keep yourself on task
  • 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

Note: Editing tools, exports, and multi-device support require a Bear Pro in-app subscription.

What's new in Bear

Version 1.7.3:
New features
  • Encrypt individual notes - Set a password to protect a sensitive note, and use Face/Touch ID to unlock it
  • Lock Bear - Require Face/Touch ID to access Bear
  • Spotlight search comes to macOS - Search your Bear notes while working in other apps, even if Bear isn’t open
  • Live Note Links - Links to Bear notes from other notes now update automatically, even if the note title changes
  • Emoji auto-complete - Anywhere in a note, type a colon (:) and a couple of letters to see emoji suggestions (try :smile for example!)
  • New Safari extension - Bear now uses Apple’s latest Safari extension system. On the Mac, Bear automatically adds its extension to Safari (no separate download required), you just need to enable it in Safari preferences. It should now ask for permission only once.
  • Safari extension settings moved into Bear - You can now control extension behavior from Bear’s settings
  • New TagCons - Many by popular request! 33 new tagcons!
  • Improvements to Spotlight search on iOS - Results should be snappier
  • More notes on Apple Watch - Now sync up to 15 notes to your Apple Watch
  • New Flicktype keyboard for faster writing on Apple Watch
  • Two new Bear Pro themes - Gandalf and Ayu Mirage
Improved
  • Background database update on iOS now is more reliable
  • Reading Time & Words Counter improved for asian scripts
  • Better handling of the web page import from iOS extension
  • Localized special searches (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Russia)
  • Now a lot more options are available inside a note through the "..." menu
  • New Bear placeholders! Keep an eye out for our new Bears
  • Header links in detached windows no longer open the main interface if the target is inside the note
  • Sidebar and note list collapsing and expanding animation is now smoother
  • /open-note API call now preserves the tag selection while selecting a note
  • New Special searches - New special searches make it easier to search a tag, a tag without children, by typing #cooking or !#cooking into the search field. Search for notes now is also sorted per title and then per text in the body
Fixed
  • Web page importer was not importing certain types of images
  • Better handling of database corruption and migration cases
  • DOCX Export now handles the Form Feed character correctly
  • DOCX problem which caused some paragraphs to be incorrectly labeled as heading 4
  • Problem with Chinese inputting apps on Mac and markdown quotes has been solved
  • Occasionally UI problems with conflicted notes is now resolved
  • Localisation problems with the app name is now resolved
  • Sometimes the app was closing the editor while editing when a tag was selected or the search was active

11 Bear Reviews

See all

Rate this app:

Aeschylus
11 April 2017

Most helpful

I don't like the idea of "renting" software on a yearly basis. It just goes against my grain that I don't own what's on my Mac. I'll pass on this.
Like (4)
Version 1.1.2
1920 Riverside
16 September 2019
No typewriter mode. No list notes unless tagged them. Not worth for rent.
Like
Version 1.7.2
Gazman
02 May 2018
Bear sells itself disingenuously. First, it markets itself as "Rich previews while writing so you see prose, not code." This is only partially correct. Bear uses markdown, and while it displays the rich previews, it still shows the code (e.g. H1 for heading, ** for bold, etc.). Also, it advertises a 'Focus mode' (even though there's no such menu item in the app itself), which simply hides the sidebar and notes. It's nothing like the focus mode on apps such as iaWriter which turn the app full-screen and turn on typewriter scrolling. Which brings me to my final peeve. Users have been requesting typewriter scrolling since the very early days, which myself and many others feel is indispensable in any serious 'writing app', but the developers have steadfastly refused to implement it. I bought a year's subscription to help fund development, but won't be buying another one.
Like (3)
Version 1.5.1
1 answer(s)
szeoli-1
szeoli-1
25 May 2018
I agree with you about the markdown/preview issue. You can't even see a preview of what the document will look like when you export it, not until you do the export it and open it in another app. I also find the text window less than beautiful. In addition to the markdown code continuing to hang out, I find the bullets, which outdent instead of indent, annoying and ugly... and that's how they export too. (Yes, you can manually indent them with the tab key, but you shouldn't have to.) But Bear is a pretty good note taker, if you don't mind these issues.
Like (2)
chasjunk
28 February 2018
Not to sound combative, because the program looks beautiful and functional, but ... can someone explain to me why it needs a subscription? I have and use a wide variety of word processing and note-taking software (pro writer, y'see) but haven't been able to discover why Bear is better than, let's say IA Writer or Byword (to name but two candidates that don't require a subscription).
Like (3)
Version 1.4.3
2 answer(s)
szeoli-1
szeoli-1
01 March 2018
Good question. Personally, I see a difference between Bear and the apps you mention, which are writing apps. Bear is more of a note-taking app (though you can, of course, do more long-form writing in it). Still not sure why the developers feel a subscription is warranted, other than that they want the steady stream of revenue.
Like
Scott-C-H-
Scott-C-H-
11 March 2018
It requires a subscription because they need to have a more steady stream of income to support their development effort. In today's "most apps should be free" market climate, it's nearly impossible for an indie Mac developer to make a decent living with the traditional software licensing model. It is also one of the reasons this type of editors stores your data in a proprietary format. For example, when you store your notes in Bear, you can access your data only through Bear. Yes, you can force-open entries as a text file, but the file name is not semantic, and there is no way of knowing what it is. Once you have hundreds of notes, you will be less inclined to bail out. So, you *will* end up paying for it for a long time until the developer abandons the app. It's a sure way of guaranteeing a steady stream of income.

All that said, there is not a whole lot of difference in practice. You will pay roughly about the same price at the end if you keep upgrading to a new version. Subscriptions tend to be dirt-cheap. Bear is not an exception. Bear is a beautifully designed functional app. They should get paid.

I don't use Bear, not because they charge monthly/yearly, but because I don't want any apps that store my data in a proprietary format. I want my data to be accessible from any apps. I use iA Writer because of that reason. Saving everything in plain text (Markdown) file is the best way to go for data longevity and flexibility.

Oh, and many people will say Bear let you export your notes easily in many formats, so my concern is irrelevant. Well, sure, as long as the import/export feature works with a large chunk of entries I've had more than a few occasions with a few other similar apps that they would choke on a large chunk of data. In fact, when I tried Bear, I tried import 900+ plain text files, and it took a few crashing, relaunching and choking to finish processing the whole batch of files. It immediately brought back the sour memory of using other apps like this (Evernote, I'm talking to you), and it turned me off to Bear completely. There is no guarantee that Bear will always export hundreds of notes with many embedded images without choking. If it doesn't, you will be at the mercy of the developer responding to your support inquiries (most likely take days, even weeks), and you will not be able to use an alternative app to access Bear's internal data without a lot of fiddling and hassles.

So, my "plain text in folders and Dropbox" method is not elegant, but it does the job without making me commit to any particular apps. I will not have to spend a lot of time and effort to move my data from one platform to another every time some indie developer changes mind and decides to abandon.
Like (2)
Drdul
12 April 2017
Bear can't sync between two or more persons. I share an Evernote account with my wife and would like to switch to Bear, but it's restricted to syncing with only one iCloud account. I asked the dev about syncing with other people and syncing using another service like Dropbox (which my wife and I share), and got this reply: "Currently, this is not possible as the Bear app can only sync notes via a single iCloud Drive account but we will add this option in the future. We are evaluating this, and there is no ETA to it."
Like (2)
Version 1.1.2
Aeschylus
11 April 2017
I don't like the idea of "renting" software on a yearly basis. It just goes against my grain that I don't own what's on my Mac. I'll pass on this.
Like (4)
Version 1.1.2
2 answer(s)
lazk
lazk
28 October 2017
why to subscribe ? the free version does everything.
Like
Zx81
Zx81
14 December 2017
It would be interesting to have a website listing applications without subscription.
Like (1)
JuliaTin
07 April 2017
Just bought this fine app, I'm adding it into my dock. I'm also going to recommend this to my kids. Just get it, I don't think you will be disappointed.
Like (1)
Version 1.1.1
Tim27
05 April 2017
Unfortunate that the developer is putting so much time into this app and none into Pixa.
Like
Version 1.1.1
1 answer(s)
hmurchison
hmurchison
08 April 2017
Tim check out Pixave. It's pretty solid and an iPad version is in the works . https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/54748/pixave
Like
Gazman
22 March 2017
Still no typewriter mode for longer pieces of writing. This has been a highly requested feature on their website, but they still haven't implemented it. Until they do this, I will keep using alternatives such as Ulysses.
Like
Version 1.1
1 answer(s)
Funjoy
Funjoy
01 April 2017
One major advantage to IA Writer over Bear is typewriter mode, which highlights lines or paragraphs. At $9.99 it's also cheaper than a 1-year subscription to Bear. I like Bear, but for the features I want I don't like it at $15/year.
Like (4)
josephjsam111
21 March 2017
nice
Like
Version 1.1
Sherman-Wilcox
21 March 2017
Excellent!
Like
Version 1.1
Free

3.8

App requirements: 
  • Intel 64
  • OS X 10.11.0 or later
Category: 
Developer Website: 
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