The best note-taking app on iPhone

The ability to take notes is an integral part of using an iPhone, allowing me to jot down trivia, add recipes, and write unfiltered thoughts. I use Google Keep and Apple Notes on different devices and choosing one can be confusing for most users. This is why I would try to break down the two apps and where each one shines. Let’s compare Google Keep and Apple Notes.

Google Keep vs Apple Notes

I am going to compare the two apps to take notes on the features that a consumer would like. To keep things simple, I would award a point to each app in each comparison and then count at the end.

1. Availability on platforms

Google Keep is the default option for Android smartphones, but it goes much further. You can use it on Chromebooks and even on the desk without losing any features.

Google Keep for the web

Apple Notes is unique to the Apple ecosystem and comes pre-installed with every Apple device you buy, like iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Every note you create on any device will be instantly synced to iCloud. That being said, you can use Notes on a Windows PC simply by logging into your iCloud account. However, there are some limitations. You cannot use formatting natively on the web and the session expires after a while.

Notes on iCloud in the web browser

Google Keep clearly has an advantage with native apps for both Android and iOS, but you can still use Apple Notes on those devices using a browser that doesn’t offer the same experience.


  • Google Keep: 1
  • Apple Notes: 0

2. Organization of the notes

If you take notes frequently, you will understand the importance of organizing them. Google Keep uses tags to help you organize your notes. You can tag each note and find them all below that tag. You can also color code your notes. It’s fine on its own, but I wish Google Keep would bring real folders in the future.

Folders and Tags: Google Keep vs Apple Notes

Apple Notes has a win here, as iOS 14 added folder support to the Notes app. You can keep all your notes in one place or separate them into folders. Apple Notes wins this round because of how well they have implemented folders across the ecosystem.


  • Google Keep: 1
  • Apple Notes: 1

3. Text format

Google Keep does not have an option to format your texts and can only annotate words normally. The reasoning behind this is that Keep is intended for note takers on the go and if they want to format their texts they can simply use Google docs.

Format text in Apple notes

Apple Notes, in fact, supports text formatting options like bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough. It also has native support for indentation and text replacement. You can simply select a piece of text and format. One thing to add, the format does not work in Notes when using a desktop browser. You can easily copy formatted text and paste it into your notes and it will keep working. This also works in Keep.


  • Google Keep: 1
  • Apple Notes: 2

4. Attachments

Notes don’t just mean scrawled text anymore, Google Keep also lets you add links, photos, checkboxes, squiggles, drawings, and even audio right in the app. Scribble notes are saved as a separate note and you can type text using your keyboard. Google will automatically transcribe the audio notes so that you have text and audio versions on hand. It is surprisingly accurate. Note that you can add regular text or create a to-do list with checkboxes, but not both in the same note.

Attachments in Google Keep vs Apple Notes

Apple Notes also supports checklists, tables, links, images, and doodles. Although Apple Notes does not have an audio attachment, it implements the existing functions extremely well. For example, you can have scribbled notes and text written in a single note that is simply amazing for iPad users. You can even draw shapes and the notes would recognize and clean the edges.

You can not only add images to a note, but you can also scan documents and add them as attachments. Google Keep and Apple Notes have some unique features that give each other an advantage and they both deserve a point on this one.


  • Google Keep: 2
  • Apple Notes: 3

5. Security

Google Keep does not have the option to lock or protect notes within the application. You can’t even lock the app with any biometric or password security. Apple Notes, on the other hand, has always had this functionality that allows you to lock notes which is useful when you don’t want people to have access without a password. Apple Notes easily gets this one.

Note locked in Apple Notes app


  • Google Keep: 2
  • Apple Notes: 4

6. Collaboration and exchange

Google Keep has sharing options built into the app for taking notes, but it’s elementary. You share the note with someone and they get access to it. After that, they can start editing their notes, but there is no way to limit access to ‘View only’.

collaboration features: Google Keep vs Apple Notes

Apple Notes has a distinct advantage when it comes to collaboration. You can share a note with anyone who has an Apple ID and they can start editing it in their Notes app. You can limit access to ‘View only’ so they can see the changes and not make them. Unlike Google Keep, Apple Notes has a clear distinction when a particular user makes a change and it is highlighted with a color assigned to the user.

Apple Notes has a clear advantage, but Keep also deserves a point due to the fluidity of its exchange process.


  • Google Keep: 3
  • Apple Notes: 5

7. Search

For once, Google Keep and Apple Notes implement a feature equally well. The search function is similar in both apps and you can search for terms within the notes. The app also recommends suggestions based on attachments, lists, tags, recordings, locked notes, picture notes, etc.

search options in Google Keep and Apple Notes


  • Google Keep: 4
  • Apple Notes: 6

Google Keep vs Apple Notes: Which Notes App Should You Choose

Google Keep and Apple Notes are two carefully designed applications that allow you to take notes on a variety of devices. They offer seamless integration with other devices and you can put anything on your note, from links to images. However, when pitted against each other, there is a clear winner based on score alone: ​​Apple Notes. Google Keep still takes the cake when you add any non-Apple device to the mix. Yes, although you can edit notes on the web with Apple Notes, it is not as convenient as having a dedicated application.

In short, if you primarily take notes on the iPhone, Apple Notes is a clear winner. Keep Google for everything else. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.

Read also: 16 Google Keep Notes Tips and Tricks to Stay Organized (2021)

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