Notes app gets new turbocharged text tools in iOS 11


iOS 11 notes
Notes app behaves more like a piece of paper than ever in iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Up until now, if you wanted to do fancy formatting with the iOS Notes app, you had to dust off your Mac to do it. Now, with the iOS 11 Notes update, you no longer need to boot up a desktop computer just to switch a note to a monospaced font, or add a table. You can do it all on your iPhone or iPad. And this is in addition to the great new in-line sketch features and document scanner that headline this update.

Notes now works like you always thought it should

In iOS 11, there’s a new set of tools above the keyboard. The little + replaces the old camera icon, and now includes options to add a sketch in the old-fashioned way, by creating a full-screen canvas and then attaching whatever you draw to the note; scanning a document and save it in Notes, ready to mark it up with the Apple Pencil; and either snapping a photo or adding one from your library.

Before and after: the text options have gotten better in iOS 11.
Before and after: the text options have gotten better in iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Tapping the little Sketch icon (a pen tip) brings up the pen controls, and you can just start drawing with the Apple Pencil anywhere in the page, just liken paper.

iOS 11 Notes app works like the Mac

The checkmark icon remains, letting you start a checklist, and now the Aa text button allows you to do proper formatting. As you can see in the screenshots, you now get options to make the text monospaced, as well as options for bold, italic, underlined and strikethrough. You can also indent text (to make nested lists, for instance), and all this is in addition to the list and Title/Heading/Body options from iOS 10.

The Notes app looks almost exactly like it did before, only it’s a lot sleeker and more feature-laden. In short, it now behaves like you expected it to when it got its last shiny makeover — especially if you use the Apple Pencil.

  • TheByteSmasher

    Uhh.. I didn’t see the keynote… but what did he draw???

    • Guest

      It’s a big…. Johnson!

      • DrMuggg

        Dick Johnson!

  • that got drawn at the keynote? Really, I need this kind of sophomoric humor on technical blogs now?! grow up. If I want reddit, I’ll go to reddit.

  • Mark H.

    like the drawing

  • bIg hIlL

    The artwork is sexist

  • Cult of Mac should absolutely be ashamed of itself with that drawing in the header. Whoever did that drawing needs their supervisor to step in and make sure that kind of juvenile behavior doesn’t happen again. In one fell swoop, I lost all respect for this blog. What childish, immature, and unnecessary behavior.

    • DrMuggg


      Sb made that drawing, 500m large, in fresh snow on the outside of Gothenburg last winter. If you’d known you would probably had a stroke..

    • horcrux7

      Why are you so offended by a penis? You exist because of a penis..

      • Michael Protect

        thanks to modern science its very possible the person was not conceived with that anatomical organ.

      • horcrux7

        Keyword is MODERN science. She is an adult and judging by her attitude about the human anatomy a very old adult. So it is very unlikely that they were conceived with an anatomical organ.

      • Clearly it’s unprofessional. Clearly this website has sunk into childlike immaturity, judging by its writers and commenters. A drawing like that has no place in an article that is attempting to be informative on a subject. It completely discredits the website and everything it does going forward.

        If you can’t write an article without making a penis joke, you shouldn’t be writing articles. This writer should be disciplined, unless Cult of Mac has truly become a bottom-tier laughingstock.

      • Gest2016

        Actually immaturity is a prudish scold who thinks a penis is some sort of threat to her prudishness. To most adults, a penis is just a penis.

      • horcrux7

        This is new time. We aren’t afraid of a human body part. You should seek mental help if you’re so easily offended, it’s not normal.

  • W.S.R.

    I think the majority of pencil users only draw cocks with them…. Artistic skills such as those in the adverts are way beyond most people.

  • Adam

    I think people need to relax about the drawing. It cracked me up. If you have even once listened to the Cultcast you would know the guys at this blog have the humor of Frat Guys. That is the best part about this site. You can get your serious Apple News with a sense of humor. Honestly my favorite part of the week is the Cultcast and hearing the nonsense some of the guys joke about! While I know they would hate to lose readers, if you cant get a kick out of humor like HBO’s Silicon Valley, but on a blog, their are plenty of other blogs to choose from. It is a shame some readers can get so butt hurt and anal.

    • Actually, it’s a shame the only “real” article showing up about Notes in iOS 11 is written by children. I can’t share this in my workplace. It is graphic obscenity. There’s a big difference between a subtle joke and literally drawing a fucking penis in your header image. It’s filthy, immature, and should be taken down.

      • Adam

        How is it any more filthy then you leaving obscene words in a comment on a website? Not sure how that is workplace appropriate? I understand the image not being work appropriate, but either is a lot of video’s on youtube, porn sites, and many other website. With those you just don’t go to them while working. Problem solved. How is this any different then when you go to a movie theater to see a new Pixar movie and 2 theaters down from yours is a New Hangover comedy? If you do not want to laugh at that type of comedy you just don’t look at it. I am not trying to be rude at all. Just saying their is freedom of speech and anyone could put anything online. Just like you have the freedom to look at whatever you want online. I have plenty of more blogs that do not joke around that provide great articles with just facts and nothing but facts. If that is what you prefer I would be more than happy to share those with you.

      • It’s actually simple. This is a website that at least pretends to be serious. Or, they want to be taken seriously. And out of the blue, they draw a dick pic on their header image. It’s not what people come here to see or expect to see when they click a Cult of Mac link. No one walks into The Hangover not expecting what they’re getting – they are clear in their advertising. This is a case of Cult of Mac thinking its edgy and cool to draw penises when it’s juvenile and unprofessional. It’s misleading their readers and will make many take them less seriously because of it.

        It’s very, very simple. It’s their website, so if this is the direction Cult of Mac is headed, that’s their choice. Anyone can choose to tank their business, that’s their right. But it’s also our right to come in here and comment our disapproval, disappointment, and desire for someone to fix it. I used to read this site for Apple news all the time, and valued their input. But this makes me immediately make the call that I won’t be back. It’s not amusing unless you are a child.

      • Gest2016

        Have you even been laid? If so perhaps a cartoon penis wouldn’t arouse you so strongly.

      • Gest2016

        Calm down honey, its not trying to rape you.

      • Yarrenbool

        “Actually, it’s a shame the only “real” article showing up about Notes in iOS 11 is written by children. I can’t share this in my workplace. It is graphic obscenity. There’s a big difference between a subtle joke and literally drawing a ***>>fucking<<*** penis in your header image. It's filthy, immature, and should be taken down."

        Oh, no, Chirmer, YOU used the "f-word"!

        Now I won't be able to share this fucking article with anyone!

        Honestly, if you are going to get upset with anyone surely it should be with someone, like you, who uses the word "fucking", shouldn't you?

  • Omar Fierros

    Is that a penis on that articles screen shot?

  • Deplorable Lance Corvette

    Cool rocket ship drawing.


    • Gest2016

      Looks like it might explode on take off.

  • So many questions that aren’t covered. What’s up with the drawing tools? The ruler is gone? Is that a lasso tool. Why does the eraser have an X on it? Does this work the same or is it now a stroke eraser? Where did all the ink colors go? Does the pen vary in this thickness from pen pressure now? Has the search improved to highlight search terms with the note? Does the handwriting search work well? Are nested folders allowed yet? Any support for tags?

  • Rackmaster

    Where’s the #NSFW warning?

  • Allece Lee

    Thanks. recommend MixNote Notepad Notes from Domobile.