One of my favorite features on my iPhone is the ability to take notes. Sadly, one of my least favorite features of my iPhone is the Notes’ inability to be encrypted or password protected, and its annoying tendency to backup to email accounts when you least expect it. Because of the lack of security inherent in the native Notes app I began looking for a replacement several years ago and found Codebook Secure Notebook.
Codebook is a refreshingly simple app that encrypts your notes using AES-256. Codebook also has some other cool security features. It has a pretty standard Auto-Lock function that locks the app after a specified period of time ranging from one minute to one hour, and allows you to disable Auto-Correct. Toggling the Auto-Correct slider to “off” prevents the phone’s dictionary from inspecting the contents of your notes, potentially preventing data from leaking in the OS from Codebook. This is important if you store passwords, credit card numbers, or other especially sensitive data in this application. The final setting that deals with security is Pasteboard: Clear on Exit. This clears your clipboard when you exit or minimize the application. This is helpful if you are copying text within Codebook, but you will want to leave this turned off if you copy text from Codebook into any other application.
Codebook does look dated (think iOS 5- or 6-ish) though, and at the time of this writing has not been updated since version 1.6.4 which was released in January of 2013. This gave me some pause when writing about the app in Your Ultimate Security Guide: iOS. Though the look of the app doesn’t really matter I had real questions about whether or not it was still being supported. The good news is that, yes, Codebook Secure Notebook is still being supported and an update is on its way very soon! I had the opportunity to TestFlight this app and I am sharing a few screenshots below.
Codebook is everything I like in an app: simple, uncluttered with superfluous features, and secure by default. I am incredibly pleased to know that Codebook will be around for the foreseeable future. I would love to see a version of Codebook for Android, as well. Codebook Secure Notebook costs $3.99 in the App Store but is money well spent.