Everything you need to know about iOS 11

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
The new Control Center is just one of many great new iOS 11 features.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Over the past two months, Cult of Mac scoured the iOS 11 betas to collect tips and tricks for Apple’s latest mobile operating system. We’ve covered everything, from the iPad’s amazing new Dock and Drag-and-Drop to the iPhone’s new lifesaving Do Not Disturb While Driving.

We’ve created this iOS 11 guide, which we will update going forward, so you can easily find links to our best iOS 11 tips and how-tos. Read on for more on the radically improved Notes app, iOS 11’s powerful new camera features and more.

How to draw on pictures in iOS 11 Notes app

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Notes app in iOS 11 lets you draw on pictures in your notes, and introduces papers.
Drawing on pictures is easier in iOS 11 Notes.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Leonardo Da Vinci

The new iOS 11 Notes app is already far better than the previous version, but this one new feature might tip you over the edge. Now you can draw on pictures with your Apple Pencil, just by tapping on them.

Previously, images and sketches lived side by side, but could never meet. Now, with the power to scrawl directly onto images, you can do all kinds of things. Example: I keep a blank sheet of guitar tab notation paper in the Files app, then drag it to a note and start writing on top of my template. That’s just one use. Another might be to draw mustaches on pictures of your workmates.

iOS 11 Notes app finally lets you search notes when you save

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search notes iOS 11
iOS 11 lets you narrow down your target notes by search whenever you save a new snippet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s Notes app got a few headline updates in the iOS 11 section of the 2017 WWDC Keynote — in-line sketches and handwriting recognition for example — but there’s another tiny tweak that might be an even bigger deal than those two. Now, when you use the Share arrow to send a URL, snippet of text, or anything else, to the Notes app, you can search your existing notes, and choose which one you want to add it to.

This is huge, and takes Notes from being a higgledy-piggledy junk drawer to being a real replacement for things like Evernote and Microsoft’s One Note. Now you can keep a note for, say, planning an upcoming vacation, and easily add new places and plans to it as you find them, or quickly add links to a book reading list.

How to pin notes and use stationery in iOS 11 Notes app

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The iOS  Notes app is now even more powerful than the Mac version.
The iOS Notes app is now even more powerful than the Mac version.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 11’s Notes app is fantastic, and can probably replace apps like OneNote or Evernote for many people. In iOS 11, it mostly catches up with the Mac version — and adds a bunch more neat features only possible on the iPad, like sketching with the Apple Pencil.

Today, we’re going to see how to pin notes to the top of the list; how to swipe to delete, password-protect or move a note to a folder; and how to pick a stationery background for a new note.

Nebo handwriting app is like paper, only better

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nebo
Nebo is the best Notes app and not in beta. And maybe even then.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Nebo is an alternative to Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 Notes app. Like the Apple app, Nebo lets you use the Apple Pencil to draw and write in notes. It also recognizes the words you write and lets you search on those terms. Unlike the native Notes app, however, Nebo also converts your longhand scrawls into actual, editable text, which can be copied and pasted anywhere.

In fact, I used Nebo to write this entire article. My handwriting isn’t as fast as my typing any more (my hand still hurts), but the app is fantastic.

How to scan and mark up paper with Notes app in iOS 11

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scan notes
Scanning paper documents is easy in the iOS 11 Notes app.
Photo: Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, the Notes app really wants to become the go-to place for you to dump all your ideas, all your snippets, and all your, uh, PDF scans. New in iOS 11 is the ability to scan a sheet of paper right there in the Notes app, then scrawl on it using the new PDF markup features built into Apple’s new mobile OS>

Potentially, the Notes app in iOS 11 will be able to replace apps like Evernote (aka “Everbloat”), as well as purpose-built scanning apps like Scanner Pro. Let’s see how to make a scan, and if the Notes app does enough to be your sole go-to notes destination.