Eddie Lee

Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Metadata propaganda

There has been a lot of talk recently about Russia and potential interference with the US presidential election. I don’t know if this is true; I suspect it is, but it’s not my place to say. What I do know is I’ve started to see a lot of odd data reported by Google Analytics; mainly pro-Trump messages set as peoples browser languages…

Google Analytics Languages

Where does this traffic originate? Russia. I post nothing in Russian, I have no genuine Russian readers that I know of. But Google Analytics reports nearly all of this data from there.

Google Analytics Countries

No conclusions can really be drawn from this, but it’s interesting regardless.

Bear - a beautiful writing app

I've spent the last few days looking for a new note taking and general writing app after falling out with Apple’s Notes app.

The one I've settled on, and has massively exceeded my expectations of what to expect from an iOS writing app is Bear. In my last blog post I shortlisted several apps I was thinking of moving to, but had missed Bear. Luckily Weiran Zhang recommended it to me on Twitter.

Bear - a beautiful writing app

Bear has the best Markdown support of any app I’ve used, desktop or mobile - and this app works on both. Notes are easily categorised with hashtags. And so far, the sync between my iPhone and Mac has been flawless.

The app is free with payments of either £1.49/month or £13.99/year for Bear Pro which includes sync.

Picking a new notes app

Due to sync issues my faith in Apple's Notes app has been shaken. I'm aware I can most likely fix this by turning the iCloud toggle on and off on each platform, but I shouldn't have to. So I'm looking for a replacement.

My requirements are:

  • Simple
  • iPhone, iPad, and macOS
  • Plain text
  • Markdown
  • Flawless sync


  • Code snippets
  • Inline images

So far I have shorted listed these...

If anyone has any other recommendations tweet me @eddielee6.

(Side note: I opened Notes on my MacBook while writing this to copy the shortlist I wrote on my iPhone - and it wasn't there...)

Notes Woes

I've always been a big fan of the iOS Notes app: lists, reminders, blog posts - anything I need to write goes in there. Over the last few years I've read articles and listened to many podcasts taking issue with the reliability of iCloud sync. Luckily I've never encountered any of them; until now.

Notes Sync Issues

A few weeks ago I started to notice I'd write something on one device then later pick up another and realise it wasn't there.

Comparing the Notes on my MacBook with those on my iPhone I've discovered I have two distinct sets. Checking with the source of truth, iCloud.com to see which device is at fault reveals no solutions, it matches neither device.

Being in the situation where I have three unique sets of notes, and not being totally sure how to get them back inline, it's safe to say my faith in the iCloud Notes platform has been broken.

Compounding this with the many other issues of the Notes app; such as horrendous markdown support - so bad that no support would be better. It appears to be time to find a replacement app. I need a simple, plain text notes app with good markdown support. Apps for iOS and macOS are a must.

If anyone has any suggestions tweet me @eddielee6.