Microsoft OneNote comes to the iPhone and how it compares to WP7's

Previously, Microsoft had always kept their Office suite mobile applications to their own mobile operating system. Plenty of competitors have crept up, such as Documents 2 Go and even Apple's own Pages, Keynote, Numbers which all attempt to compete with Microsoft and allow some support for the ever-popular Office formats. Today, Microsoft has released one Office application of theirs for iPhone, the versatile OneNote.

Mobile versions of OneNote show up both on Windows Phone 7 and now iPhone, as well for a limited time the iPhone version can be freely downloaded from Apple's App Store. When using both side-by-side, you realize that really both mobile versions work quite well, and quite similarly, however there are a few discrepancies.

Opening the exact same Notebook and Page in OneNote on Windows Phone 7 and on iPhone gives you a linear view of how elements were added to each page. Each new section is represented by a line between the previous and next to show the difference in when they were created. The iPhone version of OneNote was disappointing in the support of formatting. OneNote on iPhone doesn't appear support as much formatting as the one Windows Phone 7 does. Changes in text size, color, and any styles such as bolding of letters was not apparent in the iPhone version, while Windows Phone 7's supports colors, bolding, and text size difference. Both versions do support bullet lists.

While OneNote for iPhone may not feature the same formatting, one can make a checked list mimicking a "To-Do" list, while Windows Phone 7's version does not appear to contain that same functionality. Other options don't even appear to allow formatting past a bulleted list, but space does feel better managed on the iPhone. Formatting on Windows Phone 7, especially with bulleted lists can cause an excess of padding on the sides, while on the iPhone padding is handled very nicely and the note is entirely readable, even though colors and other options are omitted. Windows Phone 7's version isn't bad, but it feels a bit squished comparatively.

Working with notes is simple and straightforward, tap and type. Both versions allow for picture additions to the note, first taking you to the list of pictures on the device and then optionally allowing one to take a new picture, and when the keyboard is up there is easy access to making a bulleted or checked list on the iPhone, while on Windows Phone 7, instead of buttons right along the top of the keyboard there is another menu to pull up.

Microsoft OneNote for iPhone feels very much like an iPhone application, is smoothed and polished, and offers easy access to adding quick notes on the go. Differences show up from iPhone's OneNote to Windows Phone 7's, but both are quite effective mobile solutions, although the wish of unifying support for features across the devices would be well accepted. Welcome to iPhone, OneNote!

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So hang on, Microsoft creates OneNote for iOS but apparently they don't have the 'resources' to dedicate towards a version for Mac OS X

Mr Nom Nom's said,
So hang on, Microsoft creates OneNote for iOS but apparently they don't have the 'resources' to dedicate towards a version for Mac OS X

You could use the Office Web Apps!!

neo158 said,
You could use the Office Web Apps!!

Meh, kind of crudtastic - hence I am looking at getting a PC at the end of this year. I've got a Mac but as Apple focus almost exclusively on iOS at the expense of Mac OS X and desktop development I can't help but come to the realisation that Microsoft is the only company who seem to be able to walk and chew chewing gum at the same time.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Meh, kind of crudtastic - hence I am looking at getting a PC at the end of this year. I've got a Mac but as Apple focus almost exclusively on iOS at the expense of Mac OS X and desktop development I can't help but come to the realisation that Microsoft is the only company who seem to be able to walk and chew chewing gum at the same time.

Well until you get your PC you could use them, they aren't that bad, i've used them myself.

It'll give you an idea of what Office 2010 is like as well.

neo158 said,
Well until you get your PC you could use them, they aren't that bad, i've used them myself.

It'll give you an idea of what Office 2010 is like as well.

I've used Office 2010 and it is a wonderful suit - must faster and more snappy than Office 2011 on the Mac. There are also issues that Microsoft simply can't address on the Mac because Apple refuses to fix bugs which makes the situation not all that nice. Windows 7 is coming along nicely and I've begun to drop my OCD fixation on 'perfect consistency' which was one of the reasons I couldn't stand Windows in the past. Windows 7 on a good piece of hardware looks amazing thus leading me possibly to the future upgrading to one.

Oh, and developing using WP7 is very tempting given that I'm keenly interested in learning C# and Silverlight.

"when the keyboard is up there is easy access to making a bulleted or checked list on the iPhone, while on Windows Phone 7, instead of buttons right along the top of the keyboard there is another menu to pull up"

Well there's buttons right at the bottom of the keyboard on WP7.. it's just that the default is numbered instead of bulleted.

How on earth can you claim that WP7 has more padding on padded lists. are you seeing an entirely different screenshot of padded lists on IOS than I am..

I've used it a little bit now, and I think its great. I noticed some bugs while syncing and trying to read notes that were in the process of syncing but overall it works really well. Plus the Windows OneNote client is also very nice. I still like Evernote, but am interested to see if I like the notebook-style organization of OneNote as oppose the personal inbox style of Evernote.

Just need to fix the log in issues and then add full retina display support and it'll be all set. MS seems to have an issue with implementing retina display support on their iPhone apps.

I bet the free period is US-only, too... Meaning... When we non-US users try to get our hands on it, it will cost a few bucks already...

And yea, I also think the iPhone version looks better...

GS:mac

I've been using Evernote and works really well, plus free, and have multi OS support (also superb UI in iOS), but it's good to see more Microsoft programs on iOS, maybe someday we'll have an Office or iOffice, ja ja.

mjedi7 said,
I've been using Evernote and works really well, plus free, and have multi OS support (also superb UI in iOS), but it's good to see more Microsoft programs on iOS, maybe someday we'll have an Office or iOffice, ja ja.

I've been an Evernote user for awhile now, but I think I may give this a shot.

mjedi7 said,
I've been using Evernote and works really well, plus free, and have multi OS support (also superb UI in iOS), but it's good to see more Microsoft programs on iOS, maybe someday we'll have an Office or iOffice, ja ja.
+1 for Evernote. So versatile.

mjedi7 said,
I've been using Evernote and works really well, plus free, and have multi OS support (also superb UI in iOS), but it's good to see more Microsoft programs on iOS, maybe someday we'll have an Office or iOffice, ja ja.

One note use is free, you don't need the office based desktop app on your pc. If you have a live ID (which you'll want for the win phone 7 ad iPhone versions) then you can see your notes in the office web app on skydrive - there you go!

I used evernote for a bit but one note is far superior IMO.

riot said,
No iPad version though? That would be even more usable than the iPhone version I would think...

Text input on the iPhone is better than on the iPad IMHO...

Shadrack said,

Text input on the iPhone is better than on the iPad IMHO...

I guess I can agree with that. I wouldn't do much entry on the iPhone/iPad though, I just want access to my notes on the go using those devices.

riot said,

I guess I can agree with that. I wouldn't do much entry on the iPhone/iPad though, I just want access to my notes on the go using those devices.

Yeah, I agree. We can use the iPhone app in the meantime...I guess...

This is really surprising. I thought the Office Suite being on WP7 was one of their selling points... Maybe the'll just keep their main workhorse apps on WP7 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)?

M_Lyons10 said,
This is really surprising. I thought the Office Suite being on WP7 was one of their selling points... Maybe the'll just keep their main workhorse apps on WP7 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)?

Well consider this: Apple shipped 7.33 million Ipads, 9.5 million iPod and 16.235 million iPhones worldwide during fiscal first quarter; it is true that the app is only available in the US, at least for now, but still the number of potential users is huge. Furthermore, at least if I read it correctly, for now it is free.....
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/onenote/id410395246?mt=8
Maybe MS is planning to offer OneNote for Apple desktops and laptops in the near future.....

M_Lyons10 said,
This is really surprising. I thought the Office Suite being on WP7 was one of their selling points... Maybe the'll just keep their main workhorse apps on WP7 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)?

Selling point, yes, main selling point no...

Microsoft is a software company, you might have noticed Office for Mac, designed by Mac developers and Mac users working at Microsoft. (This is also why you will notice the iPhone version tries to hold to the iPhone UI concepts instead of forcing WP7 concpets on iPhone users. -Microsoft tries to respect the OS and UI constructs the users are used to, unlike Apple where their Windows application look like the Mac versions and ignore the Windows UI concepts)

Microsoft has already talked about more Windows Live and possible Office Mobile applications for Android as well.

PS You can open your OneNote and Most Office documents from the Website directly in any browser on any device or OS - even the browser on Android.

Hmmm... the person making notes for English should research the meaning and usage of the word effect vs. affect

Why do the Windows Phone 7 screenies look as if they've been captured with a digital camera? Why not just do a screenshot like the iPhone version?

kraized said,
Why do the Windows Phone 7 screenies look as if they've been captured with a digital camera? Why not just do a screenshot like the iPhone version?

WP7 doesn't have an app/api for screencapture yet. Dunno why tbh

kraized said,
Why do the Windows Phone 7 screenies look as if they've been captured with a digital camera? Why not just do a screenshot like the iPhone version?

I don't think WP7 has the ability to do that yet.
EDIT: Razor beat me to it. xD

kraized said,
Why do the Windows Phone 7 screenies look as if they've been captured with a digital camera? Why not just do a screenshot like the iPhone version?

Yeah, it is really annoying on WP7 when you need to take a screenshot on rare occasions such as this. Oh well.

Alan Cone said,

Yeah, it is really annoying on WP7 when you need to take a screenshot on rare occasions such as this. Oh well.

I take screenshots all the time with my iPhone. It actually comes in handy for me more often than I thought it would.... for instance screenshot of google maps and my street view to text to a friend trying to get to my house.

Shadrack said,

I take screenshots all the time with my iPhone. It actually comes in handy for me more often than I thought it would.... for instance screenshot of google maps and my street view to text to a friend trying to get to my house.

Yeah, that's something I use a good deal on my WinMo phone. I hope this comes to WP7... If only for reviews it's a great feature. lol

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, that's something I use a good deal on my WinMo phone. I hope this comes to WP7... If only for reviews it's a great feature. lol

Ironically one of the features of the Windows OneNote program is the screen-clipper. They obviously thought it was important enough to include in a note taking program...

I'm liking those screenshots of WP7 way more. The UI looks new, funky and modern. Maybe I'm starting to get bored of iOS after 3 years.

Manish said,
Maybe I'm starting to get bored of iOS after 3 years.

Haha I get the same feeling when I look at those screen shots. It's true, WP7 looks fresh and new. While I've grown accustomed to iOS.

PyX said,
There's something ironic in this... I prefer the iPhone version (solely based on those screenshots)

I think the iPhone version looks better as well

PyX said,
There's something ironic in this... I prefer the iPhone version (solely based on those screenshots)

One is a screen capture while the other is a photo of the screen. Guess which is which.

.Neo said,

Haha I get the same feeling when I look at those screen shots. It's true, WP7 looks fresh and new. While I've grown accustomed to iOS.

I think that's what it is. We've had iOS for 3 years and are comfortable with it and familiarity just feels a little better. I like the WP7 better but know that I'd be able to just get in and use the iPhone version quicker because of that.

Just checked - iPhone versions seems to sync with SkyDrive.


Err, not available in the Australian App Store. Not available to Aussies? Right... we'll see about that 8-)

dewaaz said,
Just checked - iPhone versions seems to sync with SkyDrive.


Err, not available in the Australian App Store. Not available to Aussies? Right... we'll see about that 8-)


It's only available in the US at the moment

I love OneNote! This is great news... don't know how much use I will make of it on my iPhone - though having access to your notes is probably a good thing

Any info on how syncing occurs? Through iTunes, or the cloud? Guess I'll have to download and see for myself

dewaaz said,
I love OneNote! This is great news... don't know how much use I will make of it on my iPhone - though having access to your notes is probably a good thing

Any info on how syncing occurs? Through iTunes, or the cloud? Guess I'll have to download and see for myself


I believe its through Skydrive.