Monday, May 20, 2024

What is Apple’s best note-taking app?

appleFreeform’s Freeform app has all the note recognition without some of its limitations, but is that enough to make it the default note-taking app on Apple devices? The Notes app has come a long way since its debut, finally competing with third-party offerings like GoodNotes 5 and Notability. Freeform is a whiteboard-style workspace that can be shared with up to 99 other people, with iMessage and FaceTime integration enhancing collaboration. However, it faces an uphill battle to win over old Apple Notes users.

Freeform and Apple Notes are more similar than different, but they’re clearly suited for different types of work. With that said, the user interface of both apps is essentially the same. Both use a toolbar of available tools and input methods at the top of the screen and offer the functionality of sharing with “more’ the button. Apple Notes is a typical text document-like structure with drawing functionality added by “mark insidea tool. However, Freeform literally starts as a blank canvas, and users can start by adding text, drawing, or inserting media.

Related topics: How to create and collaborate with Freeform on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Freeform has the advantage of fragmentation and fluidity

The all-new Freeform app on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Freeform is best used for quick creative thinking, or project planning that usually happens on a whiteboard. It’s especially useful for remote work, as 100 people can contribute to a single whiteboard at the same time during chat, voice or video calls. Users can add everything from sticky notes to shapes, drawings, photos and videos.

While there isn’t unlimited space on the Freeform canvas, there is much more room for content and flexibility than in an Apple Notes document. By default, the canvas is zoomed to 100 percent, but users can zoom up to 400 percent to get fine detail. Then, they can zoom in 10 percent to see the entire project plan or mind map. As such, moving in almost any direction is likely to open up more room for creativity and collaboration.

Freeform has some limitations

Notes against Freeform on iPhone

While Freeform will appeal to creators or anyone who prefers a more visual interface, it comes with some limitations. Notably, unlike Notes, Freeform doesn’t offer full functionality on the Mac. The app’s selection of drawing tools isn’t available on the Mac, which is no surprise, given that the Apple Pencil doesn’t work on the Mac. Speaking of the Apple Pencil, users looking to get the most out of Freeform will need an Apple Pencil to draw or take notes. While it is possible to use a finger to draw and trace, it is not as precise as the Apple Pencil.

This means that Freeform really works better on the iPad, as the Apple Pencil isn’t even compatible with the iPhone. While users can enable iCloud syncing to access their freeform notes across devices, any drawing or sketching would ideally need to be done on the iPad. Additionally, Freeform (like most Apple apps) is limited to the Apple ecosystem, meaning its extensive collaboration capabilities don’t extend to platforms like Android and Windows.

While there’s certainly a subset of creators and professionals who will use Freeform to its full potential, that won’t be the average user trying to jot down a quick note. In those moments when users need to delete an email address or phone number in confusion, the structure and reliability of Apple Notes will be appreciated. Regardless of whether their favorite note-taking app is available, Notes is an app that every Apple user knows how to navigate. That’s not going to change anytime soon, as awesome as it is appleFreeform is about creativity and collaboration.

Source: Apple

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