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Tech tips

Secret way to send hidden messages on an iPhone

Apple’s iOS devices are packed full of wonderful features, but one that is often overlooked is the Notes app. It is more than just a humble way to jot down ideas, shopping lists or reminders.

Hidden inside its code are functions that you probably didn’t know about. We previously covered seven handy ways to use Apple’s Notes app, but did you know that you can use it for collaboration?

There is no need for expensive apps like Microsoft Office to get ideas and suggestions from others. We’ll show you how to use Notes to send hidden messages easily.

Collaborate on a note

Asking others to add their opinion on your scribbles or to include things you might have forgotten is easy to do. Once you have created a message on the Notes app, simply share it in iCloud for others to see.

RELATED: iPhone tip: 3 new iOS 14 messaging features

Before you begin, make sure your device is updated with the most recent iOS or iPadOS and have iCloud set up on all your devices. Also, make sure you are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all your devices.

Next, upgrade your notes so that you can use the latest features. Everyone that you share with needs to update their device and notes too. If you have drawings in any of your notes, make sure they’ve been updated so you can use the latest features.

Here’s how to add someone to a note:

  1. Open the iCloud note that you want to share.
  2. Tap the More button, then tap Share Note.
  3. Choose how you’d like to send your invitation. Then select the person you want to share with.
  4. Depending on how you share, you may need to tap Send.

To add more people to a shared note, open the iCloud note, tap the Add People button, then tap Add People and follow steps 3-4 from above. If you’re already sharing a note, you’ll see the Add People button at the top of the note or the people icon in the notes list.

After selecting who you will be sharing with, you can set permissions for that note. Under the Share Options, you can choose between “Can make changes” or “View only.” To send your contacts an invitation to collaborate, you have the option to select the delivery method.

Keep in mind that everyone you share the note with must be signed in with their Apple ID to edit or view it.

Sharing a Notes folder

Sharing and collaborating aren’t limited to individual notes. You can also share entire note folders and add collaborators to the project. Like above, added contacts would be able to edit all the notes in a particular folder.

Here is how to add someone to a Notes folder:

  1. Open the Notes app.
  2. Go to your Folders list. 
  3. Swipe left over the folder that you want to share, then tap the Add People button.
  4. Choose how you’d like to share the invitation, then select the person you want to share with. 
  5. Depending on how you share, you may need to tap Send.

The same options apply to folders as with single notes, where you can specify if contacts “Can make changes” or “View only.” Invitations to collaborate on the folder can then be sent to your contacts through the available methods, like Mail or iMessage.

(Note: You need iOS 13 or later or iPadOS to share a folder or accept an invitation to collaborate on a shared folder. You can’t share a folder that has a locked note or a note that’s shared by someone else.)

RELATED: 5 new ways to customize your iPhone with iOS 14

Removing collaborators

When the project is complete, or you want to revoke someone’s access to a note or folder, you can remove them as a collaborator. You also have the option to add others or stop collaborating altogether.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the note and tap the Add People button.
  2. Tap the person’s name.
  3. Tap Remove Access.

To remove everyone from a shared note: 

  1. Open the note and tap the Add People button.
  2. Tap Stop Sharing.
  3. Tap Stop Sharing again to confirm. (When you stop sharing a note with other people, the note automatically deletes from their device.)

That’s it, you’ve successfully worked with a team to get that project done. And all with the simple use of the Notes app that’s already installed on your iPhone. Pretty cool.

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