Get started with the new Notes app on iOS 9

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Jason Cipriani / CNET

One of Apple’s flagship features in iOS 9 is the all-new Notes app. Instead of offering a simple, no-frills note-taking experience where only text entry is allowed, as has long been the case, iOS 9’s Notes app is capable of storing almost any type. of content.

IOS 9 Notes app upgrade.png

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

The first time you launch the app, you will be asked if you want to switch to the new Notes app. Keep in mind that if you say “yes” any Apple device not running iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan not have access to the new Notes format. With OS X El Capitan slated for release on September 30, you might want to wait for the upgrade until then.

After upgrading, you can start enjoying the new features. You can create a folder to organize the notes by pressing the New folder button. Create a new note by pressing the Compose button.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

When editing a note, you can customize and format the text using the shortcuts located above the iPad keyboard or by pressing the “+” button on your iPhone. Personalization options range from formatting a line of text as a title or body to adding bullets or checkboxes (circles, actually) for a to-do list. You can also insert photos from the Photos app or activate a drawing mode by tapping the wavy line icon.

When you draw in the Notes app, you can switch between different sketch tools and colors. There’s even a ruler to help keep your lines straight.

Adding content

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

In addition to adding content to your Notes right in the app, you can use the iOS Share Sheet to send photos and website links to Notes. You can also highlight text in any app and share it right in Notes.

To test how it works, launch the Photos app or open Safari and tap the Share button. Select Notes from the list of apps (you may need to enable it by selecting More and sliding the switch to the At position). After selecting Notes, you will be asked if you want to add text to the note as well as create a new note or add it to the one you currently have.

I tested this feature by sending URLs to the same note as a list of ideas and suggestions. It would also make a decent replacement for Instapaper or similar.


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