The bear app (opens in new tab) is a product of Shiny Frog, an app studio specializing in designing applications for the Apple ecosystem (iOS and macOS). The company is based in Dublin, Ireland, and Bear is its most popular product.
In 2017, Bear won an Apple Design Award, formally recognizing the company as an outstanding app. The award helped Bear gain popularity and attract millions of users.
Many people who use the Bear app praise it for being very effective at keeping and managing notes. We’ve seen with our own eyes whether this note-taking app (opens in new tab) was in the foreground.
Beer: subscriptions and prices
The Bear app is freemium. Anyone can download and use the free version, but it has limited features. You can only access the full features of the app if you pay for the premium version.
The Premium version of the app is called Bear Pro and costs $1.49 per month or $14.99 per year.
Compared to most note-taking apps, Bear is quite affordable. Some rival apps with similar features charge up to three times as much.
To use Bear, you need to download the app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer. It does not have a web-based interface, which we consider a drawback. The app can be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store.
After launching the app, the first feature you should notice is: add notes. There is a visible icon for this purpose, a + symbol in a notebook, in the lower corner of the screen. Click on it and the app will launch a notepad.
You can type anything on the notepad and it will save automatically. At the top of the notepad is a information icon in the form of the letter ‘i’ embedded in a circle. Click this icon and you will see essential statistics about your text, such as word and character count and estimated reading time. But that is not everything. You can do many more things on the notepad.
A great feature of Bear is that it has the Markdown syntax for text formatting. This syntax allows you to format text in the same way as in special word processing software. For example, you can insert sketches, add headers and footers, make text bold and italic, etc. You can do this by using shortcuts, for example if you put text between * (asterisks), it will be italicized.
Once you’re done creating a note, you can leave it in the app or convert it to external documents. You can convert them to PDF or Word documents, a JPEG image, or an HTML web page, among other things. You can also share notes (via a link) with your contacts directly from the app.
One unique feature we noticed in the Bear app is that it lets you encrypt notes with a password or Face/Touch ID. This feature allows you to hide sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access.
Another notable feature is that you can use #hashtags to organize your notes and find them easily. It is useful for people who have a lot of notes in the app.
Bear: interface and usage
We found it quite easy to use the Bear app. After downloading the app, you don’t even need to create an account if you’re using the free version.
Navigating the app was mostly easy. The only place we encountered some hiccups was in the text editor (opens in new tab). With the complex editing functions and the markdown syntax (for those who enable it), you may find it difficult to use. But you should familiarize yourself with constant practice.
There is a special support email (opens in new tab) you can step down if you have any problems with the Bear app. There is also an official help page with detailed answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the app. The help page should be the first place to refer to for issues before opting for email support if you can’t find suitable answers.
Bear: The Competition
Popular alternatives to the Bear app are Evernote (opens in new tab)Simple Note (opens in new tab)and Ulysses (opens in new tab). Bear is limited to the Apple ecosystem, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to two of these apps (Evernote and Simplenote) that offer native apps for Android and Windows users. But Bear beats them all in the pricing criteria as it offers more bang for your buck.
Bear: Final Verdict
We consider Bear to be a decent note-taking app for people using iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. Its user-friendly interface made using the app an enjoyable experience. The relative affordability is also something we recommend.
The main drawback we found with the app is its limitation to the Apple ecosystem. The lack of a web-based interface was also a notable shortcoming.
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