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Notes 6 – full-featured but half-baked

Developer: Dandelion Technology Limited
Price: $1.99/£1.79 per month
Size: 12.6 MB
Version: 1.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Notes 6

The latest app to dare to venture into the crowded note-taking field is Notes 6, and it claims to do it all.

Whether you want to jot down a quick typed note, scribble a fleeting idea down, or scrawl over the top of an existing image, Notes 6 says it’s got you back. We’re not quite convinced it’s ready to displace your favored note-taking option just yet, however.

The basic layout is clean and crisp

The app’s main boast over most note-taking apps is the ability to write hand-written notes. Naturally, there’s Apple Pencil support on iPad for high-fidelity scribbles – but you can also use your finger on iPhone, which was the focus of our testing.

It works well enough, using Apple’s robust built-in annotation tools. You’ll be familiar with these if you’ve ever annotated a screenshot or drawn a sketch in the default Notes app.

A lasso tool lets you circle, drag, and copy handwritten text

But in truth, writing on an iPhone in this way doesn’t prove to be especially practical. You’re given a really small, square canvas to write on, which makes the already-constricted space borderline useless.

The claims in the app blurb that you can “Pinch to zoom and write more precisely” would be most welcome, but we certainly couldn’t get this to work. Nor did the app rotate along with our device.

Of course, none of this is a problem when using the app on an iPad – but we figure most users will want a notes app that works well on iPhone too, a device you’ve always got to hand.

The writing canvass seems unnecessarily constricted

Elsewhere the app blurb claims that you can “Search your handwritten notes,” but again, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Only typed text shows up in our testing. Nor were we able to find a way to convert our handwriting into text, which was another claim made for the app.

If there are ways to achieve these things, then they’re really not very intuitive, and they should have been explained in a help file or introductory tutorial.

Importing and annotating images is simple enough

Given that this is version 1.0 of the app, we get the distinct impression that it’s not quite finished and in full working order. This is a suspicion that only strengthens with the discovery of glaring bugs such as the one that sees menu text disappearing in Dark mode.

As a basic note-taking tool, Notes 6 is just fine. Its note arrangement options are clear and concise, there are integrated Reminders and Calendar tools, and the ability to import and annotate images is fully implemented.

The text and pen modifying options are quite comprehensive

But in its current state, the app can’t stand up to the usual note-taking app suspects with their polished UIs and complete feature sets. Plenty of promise here, but call us when version 2 is fully baked.