Go Back in Time to the Early Days of Mac OS with ‘Classic Note’ for iPhone

If you’re a long-time Mac user and remember the early days of the Macintosh operating system with fondness, you can get a dose of history on your modern iPhone with Classic Note, a notes app that debuted in the App Store last week.

Classic Note replicates the look of the early versions (from the 1980s and 1990s) of Mac OS, complete with the Chicago font designed by Susan Kare, pixelated everything, and a stark black and white interface.

As a notes app, it’s very simple with no bells or whistles whatsoever. The first line of a note is used as its title, which is visible in the main view. Within a note, you can enter whatever text you’d like though URLs entered or pasted are not clickable. You can’t paste or attach any pictures to your notes to gussy them up, nor can you change the order of your notes.

Classic Note is in the App Store’s Entertainment category rather than the Productivity category, a selection that feels right given its limited functionality compared to other more “serious” notes apps.

Click to enlarge

Classic Note does have a few other tricks up its sleeve in the Tools menu. There’s a basic calculator so you can do some number crunching without needing to switch to another app. A Fortune function gives you a random quote or adage, like a virtual fortune cookie. The last item in the Tools menu is Wrangler, a simple game of sorts in which you need to “catch” Clarus the DogCow, another Susan Kare design element from the early days of Mac OS. However, no amount of tapping or dragging to try to catch Clarus actually resulted in an increase in my score, so I have no idea how to play this game.

Classic Note is for the iPhone only though an iPad version is in the works according to a tweet by its developer, David Green.

If you need a notes app that syncs across multiple devices or is accessible on your computer, you’ll want to go with a more robust option like Clear (my review) or Paperless. If you don’t need much in the way of functionality and want a little reminder of days gone by, Classic Note is a charming choice.


Classic Note

Last Changed: 39 months ago
Rating: 5.00 (10)
Version: 1.3
iOS iPhone

*** ON SALE NOW! *** Take your notes like it's 1985. Classic Notes puts the days of one-button mice and 3.5" floppy disks in your pocket, without breaking your back.



Thank you very much for the wonderful write-up Marianne. There’s currently a small update on the way at the moment that’s mostly focused on improving the usability of the app for non-english languages. After that I’m hoping to work on a larger update to enhance the basic functionality of the app, including cross-device synching and sharing of notes.
As for Clarus, she’s shy and will run away if you approach her too closely, but she can be lassoed if you’re careful and your lasso isn’t too big.

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