Apple Notes, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote (as at May2024)

 Apple Notes:

  • iPhone Size unknown (built into iOS)
  • Good layout:

  • Good formatting options:

  • Easy sharing of sheets:

  • Tolerates large notes well
  • OCR text in images fast and easy
  • Very slow sync (NOT related to your connection speed i.e. due to slow Apple server response) - and I mean over an hour !!!
  • Sync from iCloud Notes completely fails when there are a large number of notes or large notes.
  • NO versioning of notes contents i.e. if you accidentally delete a slab from a note and close, there is no way of getting it back.  
  • If you delete the whole note, you can go to recently deleted and get the note back for 30 days. 
  • Note contents can be text, images and files.
  • Note length limit: haven't found a limit BUT the sync updates seem to get slower the bigger the note.

Google Keep

  • iPhone App size: 153 Mb
  • Limited Layout options (esp. no simple list of note titles):

  • nearly instantaneous sync between desktop and iPhone App
  • Image OCR - fast and easy "Grab Image Text"
  • Note versioning so that you can recover each past version of each note.
  • Deleted notes can be recovered from the bin for 7 days
  • Note content: text only
  • Note length limit: seems to 19870 characters (about 200 average document lines)


  • iPhone App size: 222 Mb
  • Layout - Multi screen navigation e.g. 
    • List of Notebooks e.g. Stephen's Notebook 
      • List of Sections within the Notebook e.g. Quick Notes
        • List of Notes within the Section: e.g. To Do 
          • Actual Notes
  • Note content versioning??? Only on desktop version ??
  • Deleted note recovery ??
  • No OCR in iPhone App


  • I am going for Google Keep for the fast sync between online and iPhone App, AND the note contents versioning.

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