Leaving Bear for Good

Leaving Bear for Good.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been a dedicated bear user and a pro subscriber.

Recently, when the Bear Beta was released, I was only too happy to jump aboard and help contribute in my little way.

But as we draw nearer to the final release, I have sadly concluded Bear app might not be for me any longer.

The reason is a very small, but important one: the iOS experience has been extremely degraded, and the simplicity and quirkiness that endeared me to Bear app in the first place, seems to have been traded for unneeded clutter and changes.

But as a developer myself, I understand all too well the pressure to evolve a product especially with user pressure. But I also believe in the ethos of “if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it”.

That said, my major gripes (in order of priority, specifically for iOS) since migrating to Bear 2 beta have been:

i. the dramatic layout change with page margins. Specifically the tight, edge-to-edge margins that makes writing less pleasant and visually unappealing.

Reading notes on Bear 1 on iOS was a joy because of the wide margins that emphasized a neat, vertical flow of text, as opposed to Bear 2’s extremely wide, edge-to-edge reading (and writing) experience.

ii. A poor ‘show-markdown’ implementation. I respect the decision to cater to both camps on the markdown display tussle. However, I believe the option to show markdown should be as close to the original experience of showing markdown as possible.

Specifically with page header/title elements. In Bear 1, you could see the specific header weight (H1, H2, H3 etc), neatly presented in the gutter.

iii. Fixed top bar that contains page title and bogus options when you scroll.

In Bear 1, the reading experience was light and minimal. With as little clutter as possible. When you scrolled through a note, all you had were simply your words as they progressed. Not a fixed reminder of the page title trailing every scroll action like you forgot.

Suggestions for Bear iOS:

  1. Implementing the option to:
  • customize margin spacing for iOS.

  • choose the classic show-markdown from Bear 1

  • adjust top bar behavior

  1. A plugin system. If recommendations like these are too tedious to throw in the roadmap, a robust solution would be implementing an extensible system where custom plugins can be written by the community.

I’d be happy to pay more if these customizations (which ironically have always been a part of Bear) are provided. I’m certain a lot more people would too.

I will understand if the developers are simply unable to incline to these feedbacks, as there is only so much that can be done.

But one thing is undeniable, using Bear has been a joy. It inspired some of my best moments as a creative and an engineer.

Maybe someday I might get around to building a note app for myself —as eternally inspired by Bear.

Have a bearly good day. :bear:

@trix180 @david


Hopefully the devs take your feedback into consideration. :disappointed_relieved:

I also still prefer the H1, H2, H3, H4 being spelled out clearly too. But already have the option to toggle on showing (most) markdown syntax is good enough for me to stay.

But I share your pain and frustration when the most important features from your beloved app are removed or changed drastically…


I’m also not a fan of the new page title or the new icons for headings, but have you tried the alternatives in the market? There is no alternative and no perfect app.

The developers are being receptive to feedback, especially with regards to requests for options, so I’d like to request an option to not show the new page title. It does not solve anything for me while cluttering the editor view.


To each their own … :wink: I find it is a huge improvement in legibility on a phone with the tighter margins. As long as the margin is bigger than the line height then legibility is fine IMO. Phone screens are just too small for ‘luxurious’ margins, especially with a larger font setting. My only complaint here is that the line height of headers is far too big.

This is precisely the reason I have returned to Bear 2 after not having used Bear 1 in years. I found the markdown presentation in B1 utterly annoying, especially the H1, H2 header presentation. Now that the markdown is completely hidden B2 is so much more pleasant to use. Personally I would prefer the ‘show markdown’ view to be a ‘vanilla’ unformatted markdown and not the current implementation which is essentially the same as B1. But I can live with it as I will very rarely use the ‘show markdown’ view anyway.

I can’t honestly remember how B1 looked in this regard but the top bar looks fine to me. Not sure what you mean by ‘bogus’ here. The functionality seems sensible enough …


I don’t think this will happen, nevertheless I dearly hope plugins come to Bear. It would greatly expand the value by allowing for advanced usecases the devs understandably do not intend to support for simplicity’s sake.

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