I love DEVONthink 3 Pro on my Mac. It’s a very versatile app. Some people use it as an information collector, others as a regular database manager, yet others as a note taker. Personally, I think you can manage and create effortlessly all sorts of knowledge with DEVONthink 3. That used not to be the case with DEVONthink To Go, the mobile app. Although it was powerful in its own right, the previous version had many shortcomings that made me stop using it altogether. Since a week or so, there’s now DEVONthink To Go 3 and it’s totally different. After playing with it for a week, I’d say it is on par with the Mac version.
While DEVONthink To Go 3.0 is not a completely new user experience when compared with the previous version, it has been improved on such a scale that it certainly feels like it’s a completely new app. The list of new features to start with is impressive. It supports multiple windows and the pointer on iPadOS, dark mode, context menus, OCR conversion of scans to searchable PDFs on your device, Shortcuts actions to automate everyday tasks and an integration with other iOS apps that surpassed my wildest expectations.
For example, DEVONthink To Go 3 lets you open documents in other apps directly from the Share sheet, supports Mac-style document annotations and ratings, has the Mac-version familiar unified inboxes, tags, colour labels, trash groups, new global smart groups, and more.
The new iCloud end-to-end encrypted sync is based on CloudKit and as a result much faster and more reliable than the previous iCloud approach. It requires DEVONthink for Mac 3.6.2 or later and it’s one more reason to upgrade to that Mac version if you haven’t yet. It’s really blazingly fast and you can see it start as soon as you stop editing/processing a document.
Another great new feature is the ability to open context menus for the database and the documents and groups lists by long-pressing an item. If you activated the mouse pointer on your iOS device, you can even use your mouse the way you’re used to on the Mac, at least where iOS supports it, of course.
I used to think that one could use DEVONthink To Go for scanning documents in a library and then applying OCR to the images. With version 2, no such thing was possible. With version 3, I can OCR PDFs and images on my old iPad Air 2 and it doesn’t take longer than on the Mac, nor are the results any worse.
Version 3 is not all about “out with the old, in with the new”, though. There are major improvements as well. For example, it’s on par with the Mac version where Markdown support is concerned, having been upgraded to MultiMarkdown 6 with CriticMarkup. Markdown documents now support item links to content, such as images and videos, and item links in their metadata section for accessing CSS stylesheets.
A New Document Assistant now uses the standard camera interface for photos and videos which is more familiar than a proprietary subsystem and that allows to zoom the image.
And if you ever used DEVONthink To Go for voice recordings, you’ll know that was a pain too, as everything was recorded in AIFF, which, granted, has the highest quality but makes your voice notes terribly big. It now uses AAC.
I can go on and on as the list is very, very long. In the end, it simply comes down to this: DEVONthink To Go 3 is now definitely a powerhouse that is extremely well implemented and user-friendly, and with the cloud sync that is exceedingly fast it’s a must-have.
DEVONthink To Go 3 is available from the App Store and retails at €43.99. An upgrade from the latest point version of DEVONthink To Go 2 costs €21.99. Subscription in-app purchases are available too.