What is Bear
Bear is a distraction-free text editor that works on all your Apple devices. Its a full featured editor allows you take notes wherever and whenever the inspiration hits.
Features of Bear
If you are a writer and assuming that you are if you are reading my blog, Bear has several features that are great for you. Bear can use Mark Down and several otherprogramming languages to easily organize your text. It allows for a cross-note linking system and hashtag to make organization for your book easy. With the cross-notes links get back to your research is just a click away. Bear has a distraction-free interface that pushes the tools out of the way to only allow you to focus on what you need to get done, writing. The interface can be used with themes to help save your eyes from staring at a white screen with black text for eight hours a day or just fit your preferred preferences. Bear has most the standard formatting options because of that fact Bear isn’t just for your notes. You can import in-line images, use MD to format your headings and chapters, create bulleted lists, or to-dos. All writers know that no matter what text editor or word processor that they use they need to export it to formate that their editors, agents, and ultimately their readers can view. Bear has you covered. Bear documents can easily export to most of the standard formats a writer would need to use, Microsoft’s DOCX, PDF, HTML, MD, and even ePub are all included. Bear uses iCloud for secure sync and has a feature that allows users to create a backup copy of their notes.
Bear’s Apple Watch App
Bear has it’s own Apple Watch app. If you have read my post about Drafts, you know thatI love the watch face complication and unlimited dictation features. Bear too has both of these features. Unlike Drafts, a click on the Bear’s complication will immediately launch the app into recording a new note. It saves one extra step, sometimes that can mean the difference between getting the idea down for later and missing it. Also since Bear can include to-do lists, Bear can be your to-do manager and notes app all-in-one even on the Apple Watch.
Things I don’t like about Bear
First of all, as I state in all my software reviews I believe that a quality review isn’t just the positives, but also needs to include the things that I feel should change.
The standard version of Bear is free for download from the iOS and macOS App Stores. A lot of the aforementioned features require a subscription to Bear Pro. Things like iCloud Sync across devices, several of the exporting options and even the opportunity to use some of the themes all require a monthly subscription. As of the writing of this article Bear Pro is available with two subscription options:
- A monthly subscription for $1.49 with a free week trial
- A yearly subscription for $14.99 also with a free month trial
While I have no problem with a developer getting paid for their hard work, but I’d rather have an option for the pay once model.
Another feature that is missing is Siri integration, even if Apple’s pre-iOS 12 implementation is flawed, I’d still have like to just say “Hey Siri create a note with Bear,” followed by my notes content. Alas as of the writing of this post all I get is the message that Bear hasn’t been set up to work with Siri yet. Sad Panda.
I have found myself using Bear for the last few weeks, especially during the trial period. I like its features. I can also see why a lot of our fellow scribes use this app for their all in one writing app. I recommend that everyone give it a try especially for the free week or month, depending on the subscription plan you choose. You might enjoy the Bear experience, each their own.
Ultimately for me, the reoccurring cost of another subscription is a deal breaker for me. I have the software for a year, but as of this post, I won’t be renewing my subscription.