Two years after the service’s launch, Evernote held its first press conference to announce a massive expansion of the service’s features through third-party API tools. Dubbed Evernote Trunk (a cheeky play on the company’s elephant logo), the initiative will immediately bring 100 add-in services from 67 developers to the desktop and Web versions of the service, with mobile versions coming soon.
CEO Phil Libin took the stage in a small conference room in San Francisco’s W Hotel to unveil some of the more interesting new services included in Evernote Trunk. Among the highlights, we heard briefings on new services from Dial2Do, Seesmic, and SAP that will bring voice transcription, social media integration, and group collaboration to Evernote.
More noteworthy than any single new Trunk app announced today is Evernote’s overall strategy of expanding the service’s offerings through third-party apps. As new note-taking services such as SpringPad have emerged with compelling built-in tools for tracking everything from to-do lists to recipes, Evernote has been under pressure to innovate. Now it can do that without relying on its own dev team to satisfy user demand.
Evernote Trunk offers five categories of products and services: mobile apps, desktop & Web apps, hardware with built-in support for the service (think pens and styli), gear (mostly t-shirts, notepads, and outright junk so far), and self-contained notebooks from third party media partners such as Make and BlackBook.
While some of the add-in services in Evernote Trunk will be free, many--such as SAP StreamWork, which enables enterprise group collaboration--require subscription premiums. Still, there is already a promising base of cool freebies for capturing social media interactions, creating notes from RSS feeds, and tracking to-do lists.
This winter, Libin plans to expand Evernote’s Trunk service to more closely resemble an app store experience, complete with revenue sharing for developers.
Trunk is available today for desktop client and Web users, though you may need to go to the site and download the latest version manually, as my client failed to find the update for me. Libin says the iPad version will ship next week, and that we can expect iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry versions “soon.”