Last fall Apple launched a massive update to its Notes app. If you missed it, now is the time to check it out. The new Notes app offers so many features, you’ll soon wonder how you did without it.
The old Notes app was original to the first iPod Touch and, well, didn’t get much respect. That’s probably because it didn’t deserve much respect. The old Notes app only offered yellow lined paper and Marker Felt font, making it seem more like a 3rd grade homework assignment than a powerful utility app.
Notes has a new look, with a blank white page and a choice of fonts and colors. Type, sketch, and add information to make your notes work best for you.
What the New Notes App Can Do
With iOS 9 came a brand new Notes app from Apple that makes note-taking serious and useful. Notes now has many more features to save and organize information, and to keep your notes handy and accessible.
The new Notes app is available on Apple devices such as your iPhone, Mac computer and iPad, if you’ve updated these since last fall to iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan.
One of the most important new features of Notes is syncing. You can now sync your notes across all of your Apple devices: iPhone, Mac computer, iPad and iPod Touch. Take a note on your phone and have it appear instantly on your computer.
Syncing uses your iCloud account to make your information easily available wherever you are. It’s also a simple way to move a photo from your phone to your computer.
You don’t have to sync your notes. If you prefer a note to exist only in one place you can create a note that will be available only on that device.
Attaching Information to Notes
You can include more information in Notes now, such as photos, videos, maps and web addresses.
Photos and Videos
Photos and videos can be added to notes in the app. Use photos to remind you of items for your shopping list, dorm rooms on a college tour, or kitchens in a house hunting tour.
Add photos and videos to notes by tapping on the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Use a photo or video from your Photo Library or take a photo/video using the camera. These photos and videos will appear within the note.
You can also add photos and videos from within your Photos app. Tap the Sharing icon and choose Notes. Using the Photos app is the easiest way to add multiple photos to your notes.
Notes now lets you include maps within the note. Open the Apple Maps app and enter an address. When the map loads, tap the sharing icon and choose Notes. A map will appear in the note you choose.
You can add Maps to existing notes or create a new note. Tapping on a map in the Notes app will open the map in the Apple Maps app.
Notes can help you keep track of favorite websites or articles you want to save. You can add a web address to your note and the app will create a link to that site.
You can also add a website to a note by choosing Notes from the sharing icon in Safari.
Notes isn’t just for typing text. You can now draw, write and sketch within the Notes app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, though not on your Mac computer.
Tap the squiggle to use the sketch feature. You have a choice of sketch tools with different widths. Notes also has an eraser in the unlikely event that you make a mistake.
A ruler is included so you can draw a straight line, measure distance and adjust the angle.
You can also choose between 8 different colors for your sketching.
You can create a new note from within the Notes app or from almost any other app.
To create a note, tap the writing icon and a new note will open. The first line of the note will be the title.
To create a note from another app, tap the sharing icon. Notes should appear as an option.
=> Learn more at How to Make Sharing from Your iPhone Work Better for You!
Choose Notes and you will have a choice to create a new note or add the information to an existing note. You can add text when you create or add to a note this way.
Organizing Your Notes
The app lets you create folders for your Notes to keep them organized.
As of now, notes will appear in the order you last opened them. You can’t organize them into an order you might prefer, such as alphabetical or by subject.
If you want to see all of your attachments, or can’t remember which note you put an attachment in, you can open the Attachments page in Notes. You can see the maps, photos, websites, etc. you’ve added to notes.
Tap the square icon at the bottom of the Folders page to see all of your attachments. You will see all of your attachments and in which notes they have been added.
Notes lets you add formatting such as title, heading, and lists. You can create a checklist, numbered, dashed and bulleted lists.
As you’re typing in a note, you’ll see a gray circle with a plus sign. Tap that, then the Aa icon to reveal the formatting options.
You can also use bold and italics by selecting the text and choosing those options from the pop up menu.
If you no longer want to keep a note, you can tap the trash can icon to delete it. The app doesn’t ask you to confirm your choice so you could accidentally delete a note.
Don’t panic if that happens. Go to Folders => Recently Deleted to find notes you’ve sent to Trash.
If you want to make sure no one sees a note, be sure to go to the Recently Deleted folder and delete the note. Open the note in that folder and tap the trash icon to delete that note permanently.
Use Siri to create, edit, open and read your notes. Ask Siri to read your shopping list to you or create a new note.
Siri also can remind you to look at a note in the future. Ask Siri to “Remind me about this note tomorrow at 10 am.”
Have you discovered the new Notes app? Which features do you find most useful? Do you like that Notes syncs between your devices?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Voice of America Learning English
You can learn English and tech all at once by checking out my personal technology column at Voice of America Learning English. The tech topic this week: Apple vs. FBI And Your Privacy.