For years, Apple's Notes app has been a reliable way to jot down important ideas, tasks, plans, and more. While there are apps on the market that advertise themselves as being more feature-filled than the stock iOS option, Apple is now giving them a run for their money. Here are 14 new features and changes you'll see with Notes in iOS 13.
How To: iOS 13 Changes the Way You Navigate & Edit Text — Here's How to Place the Cursor, Make Selections, Perform Edits & More
Navigating and editing text is an essential part of any operating system, and with iOS 13, Apple has made some significant changes. Some things remain the same when working with text, but there are many updates to moving the cursor, scrolling, and selecting, cutting, copying, pasting, undoing, and redoing text.
If you store important, sensitive information on your iPhone in Notes, you'll want to be more careful. When Notes syncs across your iPad and Mac via iCloud — devices that family members or coworkers may share — you run the risk of having your notes read, edited, and deleted by other people. Such a catastrophe is easily avoided.
It's no secret that you can protect notes on your iPhone with a password, but one thing that most people don't know is that you can actually set unique passwords for each note instead of a blanket password for all of them. It's not obvious at all in the Notes app, but it's easy to do once you've got the hang of it.
There are plenty of third-party apps for scanning documents on your iPhone, but they can all be tossed out the door since iOS 11 includes one by default now. Instead of a dedicated app, it's included as part of the Notes app, and it's fairly easy to use. After scanning, you can save it, print it, turn it into a PDF, add markup, and more.
Many of us use the Notes app to jot things down in a hurry. Most of the time, that's no big deal. However, the faster the typing, the higher the chance of error. If you happen to make a typo, or if you accidentally delete that chart you worked so hard on, there's an easy way to undo the changes.
One thing that makes Apple great is the connectivity between its products. Many tasks you do on an iPhone can be switched over to a Mac or iPad quickly and easily. The Notes app is no exception to this advantage, but you need to make sure you're set up so that your notes sync properly on each device you have.
If the Notes app on your iPhone is anything like mine, it's a mess. Even with the addition of folders, adding note after note can really clutter things up. You need a way to quickly identify the notes that are most important, and that's where pinning comes in.
How To: The Notes Widget Sucks — So Here Are 4 Better Ones for More Useful Sticky Notes on Your Home Screen
I won't mince words: the Notes widget in iOS 14 is bad. But you're not stuck with it if you want sticky notes on your home screen.
For a built-in app, Notes works pretty well and can stack up against some of the best third-party note-taking tools. Apple continues to update it with each iteration of iOS, adding new features and improving existing ones to make jotting down your daily thoughts a smooth and effective experience. With iOS 14, there are twelve such changes that we think you're going to want to know about.
How To: Make Perfect Shapes in Notes, Drawings & Annotations with iOS 14's New Shape Recognition Tool
There's a set of drawing tools that have been available for a long time on the iPhone that helps you create handwritten notes and sketches. It's great when you need a free-form way to capture your ideas, and now it's even better. Apple added shape recognition in iOS 14 so that you can now draw geometrically perfect shapes using finger doodles, giving the older shapes tool a run for its money.
One thing that always bugged me about the Notes app for iPhone is that every note starts with Big, Bold Text. Relevant in some cases, sure, but most of the time, I'm just trying to jot down some thoughts, and having one giant sentence is just unnecessary. Luckily, it's not that hard to fix.
How To: Find & Recover Apple Notes Stored in Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL & Other Third-Party Mail Accounts
If you can't locate a specific entry in the Notes app on your iPhone, chances are that it's hiding in a different place than you thought, connected to a third-party email service such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. When one of those notes gets lost or accidentally deleted, you're going to run into issues, but it's possible to recover it.
When you have an idea you want to jot down or a quick list to make, the Notes app on your iPhone is a great place to do it. However, by default, Notes use a blank canvas, which doesn't match the physical lined notebooks we're used to. If you've always use unlined or gridless sheets of paper, a blank canvas is probably fine, but you can actually customize your digital stationary with lines or grids.
When you hand your unlocked iPhone to somebody so they can use the internet real quick, check out some cool photos, or do whatever, there's a possibility that they could snoop around where they don't belong. If you have some secret recipes, login credentials, intellectual property, or other sensitive information in your notes, you'll want to add some protection to them.