Burned By an App- a Cautionary Tale

I was maybe living too fast, life was maybe too good, looking back. Just who the hell did I think I was with that fancy Apple pencil taking notes on a swanky iPad Pro in my own scribble?


Ah, but it was intoxicating. I was living the high life with hundreds of pages of notes taken through the tip of that space-age wonder scribetool on virtual paper. Then, just last week, it all came to a screeching halt. Fate handed me a shit sandwich, and I’d eaten half of it before realizing what was even going on.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. For at least five years now, I’ve become accustomed to taking notes on an iPad using the compatible pencil device to allow me to quickly scribble down my thoughts. Countless meetings, product briefings, conferences, and more were all captured for later reference, and believe me you, refer to them I did. Nobody refers to notes as good as me, I tellya.

Until I couldn’t any more.

You see, way back when, I vaguely recall fiddling around in the App Store like a happy idiot looking for something I could take notes with. I remember trying a few, and settling on this:

It has been fantastic. Reliable, simple, free. “Memo” and me were buddies. Until it screwed me over.

Last week, I learned that a project I’m involved with had seemingly changed in scope over the last several months, and the changes seemed to be a drastic pivot from the way I remembered it all from the last meeting. This is one of those drawn-out projects with a lot of players, and good notes can be the difference between things going off the rails or not over time. When I got the email about what was supposed to happen next in this project, I thought “no worries, let me pull up my notes and get this all cleared up…”

ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME? Sunsabitches… it won’t even open! How does this happen? At no point was there any kind of warning by Apple that the iOS upgrade would break certain apps… Including my beloved Memo app! The sinking feeling- THE STING OF LOSS- will haunt me for many a day…

Ah well. I suppose it is what it is, and I have no doubt many of you reading this have already had thoughts like “you dumbass, this is really your fault for several reasons” and to you I say, yes, of course it’s my fault. Shut up anyway.

Lessons learned:

  • Should have emailed each memo to myself to have a copy after scribbling them
  • Should have used Apple’s native Notes app for better chance of longevity
  • Should have paid more attention to who authored this app I relied on so much so I could maybe contact them to see if they are still around and plan on updating their now ugly baby
  • I’ll take a serious look at other apps I use for drawing, writing, etc and make sure other important docs won’t be lost to an eventually unsupported app

I’m sure other regrets will come to mind. For some reason, this incident particularly sucks, despite having other apps and programs go away in the past before this happened. In some cases, there was plenty of warning that the vendor was discontinuing, in others maybe I didn’t rely on the application so deeply.

Live and learn… and maybe somebody reading can benefit from my angst.

2 thoughts on “Burned By an App- a Cautionary Tale

  1. kevincostain

    I feel like there might be hope (outside of the upgrade). I’m thinking if you get at the data stored by the app via iTunes, maybe those notes are stored in some way that could be retrieved. This is crazy that iOS does this to users.


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