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iPhone 4: Notes Sync for IMAP

When you add an IMAP-based email account (including MobileMe and Gmail) to iPhone 4, in addition to the previous options you now get a toggle for "Sync Notes".

Notes syncing was famously listed as an iPhone 1.0 feature but then mysteriously vanished only to return in iPhone 3.0 as an iTunes-limited option (i.e., not push or over-the-air).

Apple's desktop Mail client includes special folders that serve as repositories for notes, so perhaps this is now (finally) being echoed on the iPhone.

Whether or not this gets tied in to the actual Notes app remains unknown (it doesn't seem to right now, but it may just not be working yet). It also doesn't seem to be an option for Exchange accounts (yet?).

If you discover anything else about iPhone 4 Notes sync, let us know!

[Thanks anon for the tip!]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

21 Comments
  • Hopefully this stays in the final version of 4.0, I think a note syncing over the air would be very usefull
  • One word... Evernote.
  • I saw a screenshot on Boy Genius of an account pannel in the notes app. So I would assume that this will be in notes, not mail.
  • 'Bout flippin' time!
  • If it works with Notes and any IMAP, they'll have gotten one thing right.
  • FINALY!
    That leaves to do´s...
  • What are they syncing with? Far as I can tell Gmail does not have notes.
  • this is a very good addition
  • They need syncing for EVERYTHING over the air. Seriously. I'd KILL to be able to leave my iPhone plugged into the wall and sync my new songs or videos over WiFi. What is taking so damn long for this "feature"?
  • It works great with my MobileMe account. Notes sync with the native Notes app on the iPhone and the Notes of Apple Mail. It works great and really fast!
  • How about task synching with Outlook? Apple --yester-decades technology next year, next year, next year. Seriously they are so behind it's pathetic!!
  • It's getting really old using Calendar events as ToDos. But I've tried the third party apps and don't like any of them. ToDos should be part of (inside) Calendar the same way Video is part of (inside) iPod, and clocks and timers are all together in the same app.
  • I would love to see a complete (tasks,to-do's, etc.) Outlook sync.
  • @Aaronhttp://www.google.com/notebook/
    @fastlane
    reqall is pretty cool ..
  • Any word on syncing notes in an exchange account?
  • @zero credibility:
    Yeah, I've seen Reqall and it's nice... and so are some others (Things, Appigo, etc). I just feel like being organized should start with having my Calendar and Tasks/Todos in one app. Otherwise, my planning is already disorderly from the get go. ;)
    But, I may have to go with one of them soon, like it or not, because it doesn't look like Apple is moving on this.
    As for the Notes being improved, I'm happy to see it. I was disappointed when there was nothing mentioned about Notes improvements in the keynote (gives us some fonts, basic formatting, something!).
  • The notes show up in my gmail (web access). On the left side of gmail I have a label "Notes". At the top left of the notes app, it now says "Accounts". I tapped that and selected "G-Mail". Then I put a test note in the G-Mail Notes on my phone, and it synced to my GMail. So far, it seems to be only one way unless I'm doing something wrong. It also doesn't seem to have anything to do with the "Google Notebook" only a notes label in GMail.
  • I am a MobileMe user who has hated the notes sync from day 1 (of 3.0 - when it was finally enabled). While testing 4.0, I was a bit shocked to see my notes from my iphone sync to my mail - wirelessly. After a bit more testing, I can say that this feature is working and is, in fact, working quite well!
  • Hi, in the beta2 the notes sync is gone!
    It worked perfect in beta1 and now its gone...
    Damn Apple...
  • question... will the new os4 make it possible to sort the notes alphabetically????
  • Notes Syncing to Mobileme has worked since 3.1. But in iOS4.0 I sometimes find that updating a note on the iPhone simply creates a NEW note in Mobileme, but reverts to the original note on the iPhone.After deleting the 'older' versions, updates to that note in Mail, and iPhone can get one or two updates out of kilter with Mobileme. After a series of updates they finally fell into sync again. VERY weird.