Anytype E2EE Notebook

I received an email for beta invite of Anytype. It’s open to everyone. I had a look at their mobile app which is promising for beta release. It’s open source, E2EE, and funded by a Swiss organisation.

What are your initial thoughts?

https://anytype.io/

This app looks more like a collaboration tool (such as Notion) and less like a notes app. They state this on their Github:

Our long-term vision is for Anytype to enable large-scale collaboration to create a global repository of interconnected knowledge.

Besides what you said it also stores your data locally — but as of now, local data is not encrypted, only data synced to a backup node is E2EE.

They do not store data on a centralized server, but rather on a private IPFS network. I am not an expert on this and I cannot find more details, so feel free to pitch in. Furthermore, here is an excerpt from their FAQ page:

TLDR: your account is protected by a seed phrase only you know; all of your data is sharded, E2E encrypted, stored on-device, and synced in your local network or via anytype nodes that can’t read your content.

And indeed, they appear to be based in Switzerland and also have an EU designated representative, which would suggest they are GDPR compliant (as per their Privacy Policy).

From what I can gather, their product looks promising and might be a viable replacement for Notion in the future, but it still appears to be in beta.

:pencil2: Edit: Changed wording for clarity.

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Indeed, it’s more like a knowledge management app. There were two apps which I have waiting to replace obsidian and notion: appflowy and Anytype. Tried the first one, but not satisfied. For Anytype, they are generously giving 1 gb for cloud.

Tbh, as long as E2EE is properly implemented, it’s not important which cloud provider they use.

We will see after beta.

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Anytype is now in public beta. They have also made all of their source code public on Github making it finally verifiable, and in addition you can now try self-hosting it.

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have you tried logseq?

I used both apps. Anytype is more powerful than Logseq and has templates and customisation like Notion. After looking back to Logseq, it comes to me a very simplistic app.

I nearly forgot about Anytype. I downloaded it when their private beta first launched, and I generally liked it. I don’t personally have a place in my workflows for an app like it though, so I didn’t get much use out of it unfortunately, but I could definitely see how it’d be useful for a lot of people.

I’ll give it another try sometime. We don’t typically recommend “beta” software, but given that their beta over a year ago was relatively decent, I wouldn’t mind adding it if the current beta isn’t too problematic.

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I also have tested Antype for a long time, and I decided to completely switch to it. It is more than a note-taking app and a real competitor to Notion. In the end, I am planning to move my notebooks (notesnook), task manager (icloud reminders and notion) and knowledge management data (logseq) to anytype.

The app seems really promising, and they plan to release a lot of features. If they release the ability to change the local folder, I plan to test the syncing via proton or another cloud provider. Otherwise, I am planning to pay after I hit 1 gb limit since i am planning to move all of my documents and personal stuff to anytype.

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Anytype.io looks like what notion would be if it was good for privacy. They say they have on device encryption as well as E2EE. I found a couple of old discussions on the forum but nothing substantial about it. Anytype looks like a great option to be recommended on PG.

Just looking for opinions as to how it is as a privacy focused alternative to notion.

Any Association · GitHub Speaks for itself

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I think it applies to all the points to get adopted to the Notebook or Productivity tools. The frontend is open source, sync is E2EE and the markdown export is feature complete (even exports and links multiple pages).

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I am using Anytype for all of my personal stuff. When they implement multiplayer mode, I will move all my team members to it. Very exciting!

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Not sure if anybody still cares, but Anytype’s backed by venture capital, no?

Not sure if it should pass scrutiny in light of the recent incident with Skiff. I don’t see any indication of how they’re making money on their site.

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Not one VC but multiple VC’s. This alone makes Anytype huge no-go for me.

I don’t see any indication of how they’re making money on their site.

They don’t make money now.

But how do/will you make money?

We are not prepared to begin charging for usage of Anytype while the app is still in beta, and we rely on our community not to take advantage of the free storage that’s currently offered.

When we do begin to charge, our principles are as follows:

Users should be charged only for the resources they consume. That means that in the short term, we will charge for paid backups of spaces above a certain storage limit. This limit has not been determined, as we still need to understand the true load and cost of hosting spaces on our infrastructure.

In the medium term, our goal is to evolve from an app into a digital cooperative in which you can pay to become a member. Membership comes with benefits such as the ability to publish objects and spaces under a name of your choosing, discoverability in the Any ecosystem, and the right to participate in the earnings of the cooperative based on your contributions.

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It is not comparable to Skiff where 100% of your usage rely on Skiff’s server, thus the existence of Skiff. Anytype on the other hand, can be used without the existence of Anytype. If that happens, the app will stop developing new features, fixing bugs, etc. But you can still use the app regardless.

In this case, VC fund benefits outweigh the losses.

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On top of that, there is really no competitor to Anytype, whereas Skiff was already inferior and immature vis-a-vis Proton or Tuta.

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From a brief scan of the documentation, it seems like self hosting anytype is non-trivial, which is unfortunate because im looking for something like this.

I would not call them private.

  1. They can not delete data, data moved to bin and made ro. Decentralization helps with censorship, not privacy.
  2. IPFS has its own bunch of privacy and tracking issues IPFS Privacy. How Private is IPFS? | by Matt Ober | Pinata | Medium being private IPFS system just narrows and makes it easier to track users content

In the Skiff thread, a lot of the discussion was around how to avoid recommending companies that can do a 180 on their users.

Data longevity or being able to use the app after the company goes under isn’t really the main point of discussion here IMO. It’s how to avoid situations like with Skiff where PG recommended them, only for them to be bought out not even a year afterwards.

These terms do not allow Licensee to sublicense or transfer any of Licensee’s rights to anyone else. These terms do not imply any other licenses not expressly granted in this license.

From anytype-ts/LICENSE.md at 73826eca3f42ddca11e28a01bd632c0538ae153e · anyproto/anytype-ts · GitHub

Their clients don’t even seem to be fully open-source.

I understand that they’re filling a niche, but for me, that also gives them power over their users. Because unlike Skiff, there’s no other app to turn to if they go rogue.

At the least, I think recommending them should be postponed until they actually establish how they’re earning money.

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