Meet the new Notes

IOS 9’s fea­tured-packed Ever­note ri­val

iPad&iPhone user - - IPAD & IPHONE USER -

The Notes app for iOS has al­ways ex­isted as a util­i­tar­ian way to quickly jot down what­ever comes to mind. It’s de­void of fuss, which is per­fect for times when you just need to make a quick list, but the lack of fea­tures opened the door to other, bet­ter note-tak­ing apps such as Ever­note, Awe­some Note and OneNote.

But in iOS 9, Ap­ple’s na­tive note-tak­ing ap­pli­ca­tion catches up to those fea­ture-filled ri­vals from third par­ties – and if you don’t need a cross-plat­form so­lu­tion, Notes might just be­come your go-to or­gan­iser.


The most ob­vi­ous change when you start to add text is for­mat­ting. You can fi­nally ad­just font size by se­lect­ing the ti­tle, head­ing or body – you don’t have a range of font point sizes to choose from, but those three sizes are enough to get started. Bold, ital­i­cise, un­der­line are all new op­tions. You can make lists use­ful with bullet points, dashes and num­ber for­mat­ting, plus you can turn a task into an item to be checked off with just a tap. En­tire notes can be turned into check­lists, or you can make spe­cific sec­tions of your text into to-dos to be checked off.

iCloud sync

Us­ing iCloud to sync your notes across your de­vices isn’t new, but now you can add rich media to notes, the abil­ity to re­sume a note on the go that you started on your Mac is even more con­ve­nient. You can shoot iPhone photos or videos and add them to notes you cre­ated on a desk­top, and that in­for­ma­tion will be synced across all of your Ap­ple gad­gets.

If you were com­fort­able with the bare-bones Notes of old, you’ll be de­lighted with these new tools. If you’ve found a fea­ture-packed note-tak­ing al­ter­na­tive, it’s worth giv­ing Notes a sec­ond look in iOS 9 – it might fi­nally meet your ex­pec­ta­tions.

Sketches and photos

Notes sup­ported photos be­fore, but not like this. iOS 9 lets you shoot im­ages and videos from within the app in ad­di­tion to choos­ing an im­age from your Cam­era Roll. You can also add sketches to notes, which is per­fect for those who use a sty­lus with their iPads.

Just tap the squig­gle that marks the sketch func­tion on the bot­tom-right side of a note, then pick be­tween the pen, marker, or pen­cil and choose which of the eight colours you want to use. There’s even a ruler that you can tap to lay on the blank sketch pad for more pre­cise draw­ing.

Share sheet

But it’s the share sheet I’ve been us­ing more than any other Notes tool. Now when you use cer­tain built-in apps, such as Sa­fari, Maps and Pages, you can tap to em­bed a web ad­dress, map or page in a spe­cific note. It’s as sim­ple as pick­ing which note you want to add the card to. I’m ex­pect­ing a slew of apps to in­te­grate the Notes share sheet over the com­ing months, which will make note cre­ation even eas­ier.

And if you for­get which note you’ve added an at­tach­ment to, iOS 9’s at­tach­ment browser dis­plays which items are at­tached to which notes.

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