Notes on iPad

You can instantly tap into the Notes app on your iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil, right from the Lock screen!

Apple added a feature to the Notes app on the iPad Pro (you might even say it's a new feature on Apple Pencil) that allows you to instantly open up to a new note from the Lock screen. Everything else is still locked down until you enter your passcode or use Touch ID, but you can use it to jot down a quick note without needing to jump through a bunch of steps. Here's how to use it.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

As a reminder, features that appear in betas of iOS 11 won't necessarily be there in the final public launch this fall (though we're pretty sure this one will stick).

How to enable Instant Notes on iPad Pro in iOS 11

You can open a new note directly in the Notes app from your iPad Pro's Lock screen, but you'll have to enable it first.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPad Pro.
  2. Tap Notes.
  3. Toggle the Allow on Lock Screen switch to On.

How to use Instant Notes on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil in iOS 11

Instant Notes is only compatible with the iPad Pro and can only be accessed with an Apple Pencil, so make sure your Apple Pencil is charged up and connected to your iPad Pro.

All you have to do is tap the screen (make sure the screen is awake, but it doesn't have to be unlocked). You'll automatically open a new note. If you want to access a different note or exit the Notes app altogether, you'll have to enter your passcode or use Touch ID to log in to your iPad Pro.

How to customize how long a recently added note is accessible from the Lock screen

With Instant Notes and the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro or with the Notes app in Notification Center, you can access the most recent note you wrote for as little as 5 minutes or as long as all day. You can also set it up to always be accessible from the Lock screen or never be accessible from the Lock screen.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPad Pro.
  2. Tap Notes.
  3. Tap Resume to Previous Note under Lock Screen.
  4. Select a duration of Never, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour, All Day, or Always.

The note you were recently using will appear for the designated amount of time. After that, you'll open a new note instead.

How to disable Instant Notes on iPad Pro in iOS 11

So your friend keeps playing jokes on you and secretly writing you notes when you're not looking. No problem. You can disable Instant Notes.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPad Pro.
  2. Tap Notes.
  3. Toggle the Allow on Lock Screen switch to Off.

No more silly notes from your friend when you not watching.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about enabling and using Instant Notes? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.