I love Bear – but am curious. I’ve heard people say it’s not about leaving the keyboard, but Cmd-I seems to work just as well as an asterisk for italics without leaving the keyboard. And rich text doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Seems just as portable to other apps in the future.
So why markdown?
The origin meaning of markdown was to have plain text that was readable, means: you have some simple markup, easy to write and easy to read. Easy to write, because just some basic formatting (bold, italic, heading, …) is possible and that formatting was made with a simple markup that doesn‘t disturb readability line html would be done. In obsidian you can open the corespondending files in any text editor and would see there the raw markdown. In Bear however, even when markdown is not hidden, the editor already shows the formatting: bold text, different colours and text sizes. So it is not the origin markdown experience of raw and plain text which is formatted on preview or export.
In short: markdown was not meant just to avoid clicking buttons in a rich text editor that - by the way - offers much more formatting features (margins, different fontsizes, colours …).
Markdown doesn’t add non-visible text into a file. It allows a pure text file to have fairly complex formatting without the need to complex programs. As such, many software projects use it for documentation. GitHub for example is a great example of this approach.
If you aren’t involved in software development or research projects which might use GitHub, it probably is of less value.