iOS 9 Feature Preview: 9 ways Apple improved the Notes App

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 18 Jun 2015

iOS 9 logoAt WWDC 2015, Apple announced improvements to iOS that’ll change how you use the Notes app. This new version of Notes app will include features such as formatting, folder support and more. Read on for the top nine things you’ll be able to do with the Notes app in iOS 9, that you cannot do in iOS 8.

#1. New Bottom Toolbar

The Notes app now has a new toolbar at the bottom of the app with expanded functionality. Instead of delete and compose, the toolbar now includes the option to add a sketch to a note or add a photo or video by opening the camera interface.

#2. Folder Support

Starting with iOS 9, Apple now allows you to create folders to help with the organization of your notes. The Folders screen groups notes according to where they are located — iCloud or iPhone/iPad and allows you to create folders in either location.
You can add a new folder in the Folder view and then add notes to these folders by navigating to your list of notes and then swiping from left to right on the note. This gesture input reveals the option to delete or move a note. Tap on Move and then select the destination folder.


#3. Text Formatting

Apple has expanded the text formatting options beyond bold and underline, allowing you to apply styles such as Title, Heading Body and more. You also can create a bulleted, dashed or numbered list. These new styles are accessible via a new formatting toolbar. Just open a note for editing and select the “+” icon in the middle right of the screen. Then tap the “Aa” icon to view the available text effects.

#4. Add Maps, URLs, and other content to Notes


Notes now has a sharing extension throughout iOS that allows you to add content to a note with just a few taps. For example, you can add a URL from Safari, a link to Map or even a Pages document to a note. Just select the Share button while you are working in an app and select the Notes extension to save the attachment to a new or existing note. You can add the content directly from the app with which you are working and do not have to switch to the Notes app.

#5. Add Photos and Videos Quickly


You already can add photos, videos and even GIFs to a Note in iOS 8, but iOS 9 makes it even easier to add this multimedia content. Previously, you had to tap and hold while editing a note and then browse your library to add an image or video. In iOS 9, there is a dedicated photo button in the toolbar that provides access to the camera so you can take a photo directly from the Notes app. You also can use this button to access your photo library and add a saved photo to a note.

#6. Attachment Browser


Adding attachments to a note is easy — so easy that you will find yourself adding this multimedia content to almost every note you create. To help you find a note with attachments, Apple has added an Attachments Browser to iOS 9 that organizes all the items attached to you notes into a single view. You don’t have to open a handful fo notes to find that receipt you attached a note last month. Just launch the Attachments Browser and look through the thumbnails to find the content that you need.

#7. Checklist creation


Using the new formatting toolbar (accessible by tapping the “+” button within each note), you can easily create a checklist within a note. Just tap the checklist icon and start adding your list items. Once you have created a checklist, you can check off items as you go along.


#8. Sketching


Now with iOS 9, you will be able to markup a note with a quick sketch. Simply open a note and tap on the sketch icon to open the drawing interface. When you are using the sketching tool, you can select different drawing implements such as a pen, pencil, marker, or eraser. There’s even a ruler to help you draw straight lines.

#9. iCloud Syncing

Behind the scenes, Apple has changed the way the Notes app shares its data across devices. Instead of using the IMAP-based system it currently uses, the Notes app in iOS 9 will use iCloud to store notes and sync them across devices. Users won’t have to do anything differently, they will just benefit from the faster and more reliable exchange of data offered by iCloud.

Update Older Notes

When you launch Notes for the first time in iOS 9, you will be prompted to update your notes stored in iCloud to the new version. Once you update, you’ll be able to access notes on your Mac or other devices, only when they’ve been upgraded to OS X 10.11 El Capitan or iOS 9, so you may want to

Do you use the Notes app now? Will these changes in iOS 9 encourage you to use it more? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Other articles from our iOS 9 Feature Preview series:

➤ You can finally save or add any type of attachment in the Mail app

Improved Battery life and the all-new Low Power mode

Improved security with 6-digit passcodes and native two-factor authentication