When comparing Apple Notes vs Bear, the Slant community recommends Bear for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note taking app?” Bear is ranked 28th while Apple Notes is ranked 36th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Sync with other Apple devices via iCloud, other cloud/email services
It syncs with iCloud, and surprisingly, also with Gmail and possibly other services too.
It's a default system app, making it easy to find and use since it is already installed.
Pro Rich-text editing
Allows for simple text formatting and making TODO lists with checkboxes.
You can add files to notes and then filter notes by attachment types.
Pro It's fast, and syncing is very dependable
The app launches quickly on both Mac and iOS, it also syncs quickly (in seconds) and very dependably across different Apple devices.
Pro Supports sharing
Pro It remains simple to use with a gentle learning curve
Despite the significant new updates in iOS 9 and iOS 10, you can start using Notes immediately, then try/master new features with ease — definitely a gentle learning curve.
Pro Easy to use
Pro Flawless sync
It's everything Dropbox Paper promised to be, but without the embarrassment. The notes are always in sync between devices.
Pro Easy tagging
For example: #tag/sub tag/foo/bar #tag2/foo/bar
Pro Beautiful interface
Pro Instant markdown preview in the editor while preserving original MD code
Pro Simple to back up/export entire note database
Notes are exported as plain text, not a proprietary format, along with all embedded objects.
Pro Lots of export formats
PDF, RTF, DOCX, HTML, TXT and MD.
Pro Hashtag support
Adding a hashtag with a keyword tags the note to make it easy to search.
Con Cannot export to a format that can be imported again
This makes it impossible to backup your notes as files that could be managed by your backup system, you can only use things like iCloud and Google or export to PDF which would not be able to be re-imported in the case of storage failure.
Con No Tabs - can only view 1 note at a time
Con No inline editing and markup of pictures
The only option is to open in an editor (thereby creating a copy) and saving it again.