Why I won’t use Apple’s Notes application

“Apple’s Notes app is quite useful. You can store notes on your Macs and iOS devices, and they sync via iCloud. You can view attachments, and you can even lock individual notes, in the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “But I won’t use the app.”

“Apple made a stupid design decision: they don’t allow users to choose a default font and size in the OS X version of the app,” McElhearn writes. “n iOS, the Notes app inherits the overall font settings you choose; if you choose to increase the size of the system font, then the font in Notes gets bigger. But on OS X, there is no such system font size setting.”

“You can change the font size of individual notes; go to Format > Font > Show Fonts, and then choose a size from the font picker. Yes, it’s that ‘simple,'” McElhearn writes. “Rather than have a default font size, Apple assumes that everyone uses a tiny font. Yet another example of disdain through simplification.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, it’s a PITA. Come on, Apple! Stop dumbing things down so drastically.

That said, we’ll still use the app – it’s very useful – and hope it gets some aded functionality (like a default font size in OS X) in the next update.

Password-protecting Notes in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4 – March 22, 2016


  1. I use it as a complete scratch pad, utterly disposable stuff. Grabbed a screenshot of something that I would need to view in the evening added a note, then deleted it. For permanent stuff it’s not great.

  2. Yea, they stepped backwards with the iOS 7 version and have not improved it much since then.
    No arrows to move forward or backward note to note.
    White with no lines instead of the yellow legal pad look. Personal pref but make it a choice.
    Yellow text on white background.
    Yellow highlighting on white background.

    For visually poor not impaired, but poor, this is very difficult to read. But the 24 year old programmers assume everyone has eyesight like theirs.

    1. Pushing 80 with cataracts repaired, yet I have problems with flare from bright objects. I find that I do better when the background is black with white text the brightness of which is user adjustable. I can even read that without my glasses.

  3. I love that all my Notes are uniform, it means I’m not spending time faffing around setting up fonts etc.

    It’s got all the Styles I need a click away and you can create bullet points just as easily.

    What more do you want a “Notes” app to do?

    My $0.02

    1. If any complaint about Apple is a first world problem for you to dismiss, then so is any complaint you have about Android and Windows.

      Just because you’re not starving in some mud hut or shanty town, doesn’t mean your complaints about something you paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars for are invalid.

        1. “[Your] opinion” was specifically that Notes is a great little tool, and your dismissive “get over it” to the first part was the reason for my reply.

          Even if you prefaced your first line with “In my opinion”, I would’ve just said the same thing and put “In MY opinion…” in front of both sentences. Then what?

  4. It’s for making notes. It’s not a DTP app. I don’t use my best handwriting on a Post-It note,I scribble sufficiently legibly to read it later.

    There are times in life where simple is by far the best. It’s got nothing to do with dumbing down, it’s all to do with being easy to use.

  5. Apple isn’t dumbing down anything. People that couldn’t understand the difference between Save and Save As…, or, apparently, can’t be trusted to set the size of their own fonts now have to understand things like Color Temperature and, before that, Gamma. They even have to be able to tell time to use the Color Temperature function.

    Apple just plain has no idea what they are doing anymore. It’s Just Complicated.

  6. Is it that they’re dumbing things down or the people who used to create magic software just aren’t there anymore?

    I continue to struggle with Apple’s Calendar Server and OS X Calendar and iOS Calendar for instance. They basically just slapped a half ass interface on top of the open source packages and said here ya go. Good luck.

    For years, nothing has improved.

    Notes I don’t have too many complaints about. I use it extensively. It alone is enough to make me not want backdoors into any of my technology. God the stuff I have in there.

    1. So, it doesn’t bother you that they removed the lines and the yellow legal pad look? Old eyes need those lines, and all the other skeuomorphic cues that let us make sense of all these changes the idiot boys in software engineering keep foisting on us like Katzenjammer Kids. Maybe they’re dumbing everything down as a prelude to herding us into special compounds, where our needs will be met by the State in a minimalist scenario. The rooms will be white.

  7. I am not positive about this because I am not on el capitan yet, but can’t you edit the font on the computer and it will use that font in the apps on iphone/ipad? I am currently dealing with this same situation because I put guitar tablature in notes (music memos can’t do this yet) and anyone who has written tabs knows that Courier New is about the best format for tablature. So, when I do update to el capitan I am hoping this will work…can anyone confirm?

      1. Well I mainly use this for my own songs and song ideas, which is why i use notes. But for other band tablature, I have dug into several guitar tablature apps and they all piss me off mainly because i am stuck in 90’s when i could find guitar tablature done by fans for free and find them easily. Now I have to pay a subscription and get a lot less artist that i like. They have done wonders separating out guitars and drums and keys for a lot of songs though…so its not all crappy. And they auto-scroll now which is nice.

  8. I use a Template in Pages with the Font, Background Color, Margins etc. I want. It’s faster than going to the notes app.
    Every time I try Notes it too limiting and disappointing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.