Apple Notes

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 16+
Downloadfor iOS

About Apple Notes

Apple Notes is a powerful and complex app that provides many features. Apple Notes are a great way to keep track of information for yourself, but you can share them with others. Apple Notes is free and included with Apple devices.

Apple Notes Review

Apple Notes has been a great, albeit basic, note-taking app for quite some time. It probably not would have made this list had it not been significantly improved in the latest updates of iOS and macOS. Where it used to be a simple way to create text documents on your iPhone, it is now a full-fledged note-taking app.

You can organize notebooks, take handwritten or typed notes, scan documents, attach photos, and markup documents.
The search functionality is pretty good and is accessible from Apple devices (or through the web via iCloud). If you use Apple devices, this could be a good fit. However, if you regularly use other operating systems, you may end up frustrated.

Apple Notes app creates text notes that you can save or send through e-mail. To create a note, first tap the Notes icon on the Home screen, and then tap the + button in the top-right corner to start a new note. 



Speaking of handwriting, Apple has begun to take steps to support it in iOS Notes as well. With the improved Pencil integration you can just start writing by hand in any note instantly. If you write something in a note, you should be able to search for that text and get the note in which you wrote it. 

Pinned Notes

iOS Notes expands your organizational abilities by letting you pin notes so that they'll appear at the top of your list for easy access. Just swipe to the right, tap the pin icon, and your note will grab a permanent spot at the top. You're not limited to one pin either, as you can designate multiple notes to top off your list.

Instant Notes

With the improved Pencil support, Apple has also made it easier to start writing notes even when your iPad is locked. If you enable the Instant Notes feature (found in Settings > Notes), you can have your iPad immediately open a new note when you touch the Pencil to the lock screen. (You can also add a “New Note” widget to customizable Control Center, which is available from the lock screen as well — a feature that also works on the iPhone.)

And lest you worry about creating a new note every single time you tap the iPad's lock screen, you can also set a time limit for how long you can resume that note, anywhere from Never to Always. 

Scanned Documents

Scanning documents with an iPhone or iPad camera has become a popular feature on mobile, from Dropbox to dedicated scanning apps. Apple’s now taken a shot at those features by building document scanning directly into iOS Notes apps.


iOS Notes scanning tools, which are accessed from the same button that lets you take or insert a photo, offer the ability to display the document in color, grayscale, black & white, or as a raw photo. Documents support multiple pages and you can also rotate a scan or manually crop its edges after you’ve scanned it. Like other scanning apps, iOS Notes attempts to remove tilt and glare and other artifacts, as well as automatically detecting edges, to make the document look as good as possible with the least amount of effort.

Here's how to enable the Lines & Grids feature for iOS Notes

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Notes.
  3. Tap Lines & Grids under the Viewing Heading.
  4. Select the line or grid style that you'd like to use. You have your choice of single-, double-, or triple-spaced rules, as well as small, medium, or large grids.
  5. Return to the home screen and open Notes. When you create a new note, it will have the line or grid background that you chose.

To turn off the lines or grids for new notes, repeat the steps above but choose the blank pattern in step 4.

How to Pin a Note in iOS Notes

Pinning something in the Notes app isn't difficult at all, so long as you know where to swipe. Here's how to make sure your most frequently accessed apps are right at the top so that you can frequently access them in Notes.

  1. Go to your list of notes to find the one you want to pin, and swipe right.
  2. Tap the Pin icon that appears.
  3. Your note will note will now appear ahead of all other notes under a Pinned header. Pinning other notes will add them to that section.
  4. To unpin a note, swipe right again and tap on the icon of a pin with a slash through it

How to Share a Note in Notes

  1. iPhone Notes has the ability to share a note with other people, allowing them to make their own additions and changes. Here's how to give other people access to the notes you've created.
  2. Select the note you want to share by tapping it.
  3. Once you're in the note, tap the share icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Select the app you want to use to share the Note. Your choices will include built-in apps likes Messages and Mail in addition to third-party options. (For this tip, we'll use Messages.)
  5. Enter the name of the person you want to share the note with. They'll appear as you type the name if they're in your Contacts.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to share the note. Since we're using Messages, we'll tap to send our note. The recipient will now be able to make changes to it.
  7. Since the note is shared, the Sharing icon will now be highlighted. You can manage who's seeing the note or add other people by tapping that icon. On the subsequent screen, you can also manage alerts for changes or even stop sharing the note.

Additional Information

Teacher Ratings


iPad, iPhone





Organisational and Productivity Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No



Download Apple Notes

Downloadfor iOS

Screenshots for Apple Notes

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