Evernote drops the ball on Safari extension

The forced update to Safari 13 has left Evernote with no workable extension for its clipper. I use this a lot so very frustrating. It seems that they were not expecting the early update although I would have thought that they should have had this ready given the extensive beta programme.

For those also affected by this issue, there is a statement from one of their engineering team on their forum:

First, I want to apologize that we’re all here. Because you’re rightfully complaining about something that should never have happened. I take ownership of it. This year for us has been all about making very hard decisions around competing priorities, and on this one, we erred.

We had expected that Apple would release Safari along with macOS Catalina later in October. When Apple released Safari on Sept 20th, we were surprised, we weren’t ready, and we ended up leaving you out in the cold. Even with the release date being pulled in, that shouldn’t have happened. Apologies aren’t worth much compared to actions, but know that you have my apology for this.

Prior to the 20th, we had thought we were on track. Part of our engineering work was focussed on the changes Apple had made in their plugin architecture. But another part of the engineering work was focussed on re-plumbing a large chunk of the web clipper internals to match other work we are doing across all of the clients in support of improved reliability and sync. Because of the way the engineering work had been structured, when Safari 13 came out, we didn’t have a releasable set of code that we could quickly bundle up and get into the catalog. Instead, we have had to re-order the work to get to something releasable, with the goal of getting you all back on a path to a fully-functional Web Clipper in Safari as soon as possible.

So as has been suggested above, we will be first releasing a reduced version of the Web Clipper for Safari to deliver you core pieces of the functionality you are currently missing. That first release will not be a complete replacement of all the functionality that works in Safari 12 today. We will fast-follow that initial release with subsequent releases that fill in the gaps until we once again have a full implementation of the Web Clipper in Safari. Our goal is to have that initial release into your hands next week, but I should underscore that we still have real work to do to get to a sufficiently stable build that we are comfortable releasing.

As you are all probably aware, there is an entire rollover of Apple’s software platforms taking place in a 45-day period at the moment. That’s been challenging to manage. If I could go back to do it all over again, we would have been ready with the Safari Web Clipper. Which means there are lessons for us to learn in balancing priorities. I apologize again that we didn’t get it right. We are taking all the actions at our disposal, including literally working around the clock to get the software you need back in front of you again.



I wasn’t expecting Safari 13 to appear ahead of Catalina, either. This makes me wonder if other developers of Safari extensions have been caught out by this move.

To be fair, Apple have made it clear that they’re moving away from the old JavaScript-based extensions for quite a while, and redirected people to the Mac App Store. Still, I know some developers were still using that system because the new WebExtensions don’t have as much access to Safari.

I’ve reduced my extension usage by using the Share menu for most stuff, but I know that Evernote’s Web Clipper needs to inject into and work on the current webpage to let you select and preview what to clip, so that needs to be an extension,

1 Like

Yes, I am having issues with 1Password and DevonThink extensions as well as the Evernote one. Looks like I have got to upgrade on both of the others. Expensive time… thank you Apple!

Given that Safari 9, 10, 11, and 12 were all released 1-4 weeks before that year’s OS update, it really shouldn’t be surprising that 13 has come out before Catalina.

Now, depending on when exactly Catalina ends up dropping this could be a bigger gap than usual between Safari and a new version of macOS, but Apple has been releasing Safari before macOS for many years now.

1 Like

Kudos to Ian for a no BS explanation of the problem. I used to be a heavy EN user and have watched the “Behind the Scenes” videos mentioned in a previous thread. Based on those, I’ve been considering giving EN another try.

Safari is my preferred browser, but I’ve had to work around its limitations from time to time. That usually meant using the Developer menu to open a page in another browser that had the feature/plugin that Safari lacked. If I needed the EN clipper right now I’d toss webpages to Chrome (my #2 browser) as needed.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.


Update from Ian at Evernote. Seems the clipper is on its way…

Posted Wednesday at 04:41 AM
Hi Everyone -
I’m following up on my post from Friday.

A few hours ago, we submitted an initial, reduced-functionality release of our Safari 13-compatible Web Clipper into Apple’s review process. As some of you may know, the review process for App Store submissions can be a bit of a black box, both in terms of how long it takes and whether a submission will get through successfully. However, given how long it’s taken to get to this point, I thought it was appropriate to let you know that we are making concrete progress towards having an initial Safari 13-compatible release of our Web Clipper in your hands.

As I have said previously, this first release will have reduced functionality. In particular, while most of the Clipper’s core functionality is included in this release (e.g. all clipping formats, screenshot and annotate capabilities, support for notebook selection, tagging and remarks, as well as PDF clipping), there are a number of features that have not made it into this build. Any one of these may be core to your particular workflow, and may result in this initial, reduced-functionality release not living up to your expectations.

To that end, we have not stopped working. Our intent is to fast-follow this initial release with subsequent releases that fill in the gaps and fix any bugs we discover until we once again have a full implementation of the Web Clipper in Safari.

We will, of course, post again once this first version of the Safari 13-compatible Web Clipper is available in the App Store, including a complete list of the features in (and not yet in) this release. And we will follow up with additional posts as we proceed forward into the subsequent releases.