Over the past year or two there have been quite a few write-ups comparing note taking apps particularly comparisons between Apple Notes (since it's big update with iOS 9) and Evernote and most recently the new app, Bear. Inevitably such write-ups always leave out the newest Apple Notes features that were added in iOS 9 and iOS 10. In fact, I'm often left wondering if the writers of such comparisons actually bothered to really use the updated Notes app at all!

  1. You can lock any note with a password.
  2. All kinds of files can be sent via the share sheet to a note as an attachment. The first that come to mind: Pages, Numbers, Keynote, PDF, audio files, video and images.
  3. PDFs and images can be annotated using the same tool box that allows annotation of such files in the Mail app.
  4. Offline viewing and editing is possible.
  5. While markdown is not possible some formatting is: bold, italics, and underline.
  6. Also, any note can easily be shared as a collaborative note with any user that has an iCloud account.
  7. Notes can be exported as PDFs via the print preview though that option is not immediately obvious-not sure why Apple hides it in the print dialog on iOS devices.
  8. The text, links and attachments within a note can easily be shared via the share sheet.

I'm sure there are others but this is just a quick list I put together in response to the most recent articles I've come across. As a default, free app, Apple notes really is a powerful app with many of the features found in paid services and I suspect it is underutilized by most users. It's the sort of app that often provokes the response: "I didn't know you could do that!" It's an app I use daily and I expect to do a post on how I'm using it soon. In fact, it fits in well with my recent post about doing more with the stock Apple apps when possible as opposed to cluttering up my iPad with third party apps. Stay tuned for that!