The Bear 2 Beta has released

Hi there!

I recently created a post telling you that the Bear 2 beta was going to release soon. Up until that moment I haven’t tried the beta myself, this because I rely heavily on having my notes synched and available in all my devices. Yesterday the beta launched for all the devices with sync enabled, this means now my notes show in all my devices.

I’ve been trying it and it feels good! It has really good new features like displaying backlinks, a good table of contents and tables. Maybe now it will completely become my knowledge management tool, leaving DT only for archiving purposes.

I’m leaving here the official forum post: Bear 2 Beta release.

Have a great day!

(I added an image where the welcome note is shown, in case you want to see the new features but don’t want to install the app to see how they look.)


I’ve really been enjoying using the app! It was a long wait but the experience of using it is smooth and pleasurable. I particularly like the back link implementation; it’s very easy to navigate and read.


This icon makes me laugh, but it’s cool at the same time


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Yeah! Also the table of contents function is great. I think they have been doing a great work and the app is cheap.

I’m curious what they will do with the pricing with the release of 2.0.

I guess we’ll find out in 2027 when it is finally released. /s


I can only assume that they will increase the price, because now many developers do this and the new version of the application is just the right excuse

They’ve said on their beta forum that the price will be increasing but they will “grandfather” long-term subscribers. No other details.

If a higher but reasonable price means that they keep on top of development, that would be a reasonable trade off (IMHO). The rate they are fixing bugs in the beta suggests that they are capable of faster development than has been usual for them.

If they add the cmd+O from Obsidian, I won’t mind paying the price of the Fantastical, but we’ll see

Have you tried the iOS version? For me it’s unusably buggy, dozens of small problems, but new “keyboard” for editing looks interesting

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The ios iPadOs version is much newer than the Mac and yes, it’s buggy (over 500 reports on their forum, I think) but it works well enough, they are updating very frequently and working through the bugs fast. Isn’t that what a beta is for?

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Yes, it is. I just was interested, how it works for others

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I’ve only used it on Mac to write several articles, but I’ve decided to go back to Bear and renew my subscription. My only issues with Bear 1.0 were the markup display, lack of table and footnote support, and that it only worked on Apple devices. Bear 2.0 resolved the first two issues, and I figured that I don’t need access to Bear content on my Android phone and work PC anyway. The writing experience on Bear is the best among all the note-taking apps I’ve tried, and believe me, I tried them all.


Yeah, Bear 2 is looking great and I guess it’s going to win back a lot of customers due to its minimal appearance and good features. I don’t know if this version has the possibility to create links to a specific header of another note.

Yes, you can link to headers of other notes e.g. [[Other note/header]] and you can set an alias [[Other note/header | This is a link]] would show “This is a link” as linkable text.

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Back to Bear from UpNote because of:

  1. Bear 2 private beta appearing (there’s hope) and
  2. Bear is a true Apple app (system spelling dictionary, Transformations/ Substitutions, etc)

I guess it just weirded me out that UpNote didn’t have a fully populated Apple menu bar list.

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I’ve been ignoring this news because I’ve found Bear’s development pace to be brutally slow. I don’t need a lot of new features constantly, but wow they’re slow. But…the more I saw this thread the more I realized they’ve taken a lot of things up a notch. Markdown no longer shows in the notes (I like that), PDF previews (I wanted this 5 years ago – see, I said slow), new sketching tool and canvas, folding sections etc.

Looks good. Looks REALLY good. So as the typical cycle goes with new apps and versions; everyone is in love for the honeymoon period. What are the issues and non-starters that will be cropping up in 2 months?

I guess what I’m asking is, why NOT Bear, aside from no cross platform support I suppose.

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I’m going to get hauled over the coals for this but you asked! :sweat_smile:

  • The design is opinionated with little customisation and terrible typography. There, I said it. Most people love it, but I find it very difficult to read because the design is very flat, typography uses a lot of light grey, spacing seems off, the fonts are thin, etc. I’ve tried to change in preferences with no improvement. Maybe that will improve throughout the beta?
  • Tags-only organization didn’t cut it for my needs.
  • I don’t really like the new PDF preview or how attachments are displayed. It takes up a lot of space with unnecessarily large previews (unless I’ve missed something?)
  • No OCR so if you are coming from Apple Notes or Evernote, that’s a big negative.

I found the editor options in Bear 1 excellent. I could choose a sensible typeface, set a readable font size, line height and most importantly line length and then forget all about it. I could even choose to have headings in system font. There is less choice of theme than I’d like, but the “flat grey” design just isn’t the case if you don’t want it to be.

Editor preferences are not in the beta, but are promised before release, and with a wider choice of typeface. There are some new themes already and a promise (after 2.0 is released) of a facility to customise themes.

When I was using Bear I found I created a tag jungle, but as I have learnt since, the key is to have a system, not just tag everything and hope for the best.

Recently the developers have been really fast and responsive. That hasn’t been true for a very long time. If they sustain the responsiveness, I might end up forgiving them and use the app again.

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No OCR. Swing and a miss. Way to spoil it for me :laughing:

I still use and like Evernote, and I’m tired of switching. But I like tinkering so while it’s an impressive update, I don’t see moving to it.

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