apps for iPhone and iPad

Notes apps are prevalent in the iOS App Store, and the millions who use them seem to want different things from each app. Unlike mail apps where your goal is to read, sort, and delete mail, or weather apps for checking the daily forecast, notes apps present a bigger challenge in determining which is the best.

Some users want a minimalistic approach to notes, while others are looking for an app that is feature-rich with different tools and customizations.

Bear, from Shiny Frog, accomplishes both by designing a user experience that balances the needs of each user, which is just one of the reasons why we think it is the best note-taking app on iOS.


No matter how simple or robust you want your note-taking app to be, we looked for a specific set of qualities when testing each candidate:

  • Features – Ideally, our favorite note-taking apps are able to sync reliably with cloud services, handle copy conflicts, have easy importing/exporting, hold a large number of notes without showing slowdowns, and offer sharing options to other apps. Additionally, search is a huge factor; we’d like our app to be able to find a note quickly no matter how many we have.
  • Design – Great UI and UX design is paramount when using a notes app. The reading and writing environment needs to be simple yet functional, and navigation around the app should feel natural.
  • Ease of use – If we have to look up how to figure out an app, then it’s not going to make the cut. A great notes app will be intuitive enough to create, find, and organize our notes on first launch.
  • Price – Like other apps we review at The Sweet Setup, we are happy to pay for a great tool — though, having a price tag on an app doesn’t always reflect its quality. As long as we think the price is fair, we are more than happy to download and support iOS developers.


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