Microsoft's OneNote app released for Android

Image via Microsoft

Microsoft is continuing to release its software products for other mobile platforms. Today the company announced that its OneNote application now has a version for Android users. In December, Microsoft released a version that was optimized for the Apple iPad.

The new Android port can now be downloaded from the Android Market for free. The note taking software has a number of features in its Android version including to-do lists with clickable checkboxes, photo capturing with the Android device's camera, allowing users to sync up to their free SkyDrive account, offline access to notes, a way to sync up to OneNote on a PC or notebook via a WiFi connection and more.

While OneNote for Android is free to download, users can only create up to 500 notes for free. After that note limit is reached, users can pay a one time fee of $4.99 if they want to gain unlimited use of the app.

As we have mentioned before, OneNote is technically part of the Microsoft Office family of software but there have been many rumors that Microsoft is working on bring all of the Microsoft Office software products over to at least the iPhone and iPad at some point.

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Now if only they would sell some of their software for desktop Linux (Age of Empires, Microsoft Office, etc.), and not just mobile Linux. I would not be above paying for good software on desktop Linux that was made by Microsoft, I just don't like their operating system.

Finally! Now I can uninstall Evernote forevermore.

Evernote is okay, but it pales in comparison to OneNote. It's like comparing WordPad to Word. The only reason I used it was because there was no Android app for OneNote, and the web app didn't work very well on my phone. But with this app along with Skydrive syncing I can now access my OneNote notebooks from anywhere. Sweet!

Of course, maybe I should download and try the app before striking up the band

Hmm well the app still has a ways to go. First while it syncs with SkyDrive it will not sync with SharePoint. Second, AFAIK you can't create or rename notebooks or sections in the app. Plus you can't move notes or sections around. What's up with that? The app doesn't allow you to effectively manage your notebooks at all. Still gotta do that on the desktop app or web app. There are other shortcomings or missing functionality I've noticed as well.

Other than that, Android OneNote is a pretty good app. I'm still going to use it instead of Evernote so I can have everything in OneNote from now on.

I see some of you complaining about how the interface isn't consistent with Android, but that's silly because Android has no consistency at all! Every app does its own thing. Kinda like Windows.

Edited by Nick K, Feb 9 2012, 4:54am :

this makes me soooo happy!!! I am getting a galaxy note and one note will just be such a good addition. I love it. thank you MS.

Kind of surprised there's a limit on the notes, but woot none-the-less. This will make using and syncing the desktop version much easier, I hope.

Very cool. I love the desktop One Note app. I think it's more robust than Evernote. Finally getting read mobile/cloud syncing is great news.

I used OneNote heavily and work an this Android app is already better than OneNote on Windows Phone 7 (my work phone.) I am a ZUNE PASS user..time to get that ported so I can get of Spotify.

Garak0410 said,
I used OneNote heavily and work an this Android app is already better than OneNote on Windows Phone 7 (my work phone.) I am a ZUNE PASS user..time to get that ported so I can get of Spotify.

I only made out bits and pieces of what you are saying here. You are saying the Android OneNote App is better than the Windows Phone version. But what I don't understand is what you are saying about Zune and Spotify. They seem to contradict each other.

UndergroundWire said,

I only made out bits and pieces of what you are saying here. You are saying the Android OneNote App is better than the Windows Phone version. But what I don't understand is what you are saying about Zune and Spotify. They seem to contradict each other.

The OP is saying that they like and use Zune Pass, which is a subscription feature giving users almost complete access to any song at any time from their phone, computer, xbox, etc. On Android they are using Spotify for now to get some of the Zune Pass functionality, and they wish Microsoft would bring Zune Pass to Android.

Spotify is a good alternative, but it is lacking when compared to Zune Market with Zune Pass.

Searching for a song or artist or even using the Bing sound recognition, and then being able to just hit download legally without any extra fees is very handy, especially when you also get the other features of Zune like free Music Videos, Movie purchases, rentals, etc. And the way Zune handles both Music and Video content, you can download stuff locally, stream from the cloud, store on SkyDrive, and on and on, as it gives ya more options than any other service.

When I was using Android as a primary phone, it was my biggest loss, especially when before there was a play to even play ripped movies on Android, and before there was any good music players available, as the built in Android music and media players are pure crap in comparison to iOS or WP7.

thenetavenger said,

The OP is saying that they like and use Zune Pass, which is a subscription feature giving users almost complete access to any song at any time from their phone, computer, xbox, etc. On Android they are using Spotify for now to get some of the Zune Pass functionality, and they wish Microsoft would bring Zune Pass to Android.

Spotify is a good alternative, but it is lacking when compared to Zune Market with Zune Pass.

Searching for a song or artist or even using the Bing sound recognition, and then being able to just hit download legally without any extra fees is very handy, especially when you also get the other features of Zune like free Music Videos, Movie purchases, rentals, etc. And the way Zune handles both Music and Video content, you can download stuff locally, stream from the cloud, store on SkyDrive, and on and on, as it gives ya more options than any other service.

When I was using Android as a primary phone, it was my biggest loss, especially when before there was a play to even play ripped movies on Android, and before there was any good music players available, as the built in Android music and media players are pure crap in comparison to iOS or WP7.

Yup, I use Spotify on my Android and I use Shazam to identify songs. It has a shortcut to play in Spotify. Great feature.

UndergroundWire said,

I only made out bits and pieces of what you are saying here. You are saying the Android OneNote App is better than the Windows Phone version. But what I don't understand is what you are saying about Zune and Spotify. They seem to contradict each other.

My fault. Must have been half asleep. First comment was to praise Onenote on Android. I like it already a lot more than it is on Windows Phone 7.

My second post was to encourage Microsoft for more ports, most notability, ZunePass, to the Android. I still use my ZuneHD but sometimes I don't have it with me and it would be nice to have on my Android phone.

Garak0410 said,

My fault. Must have been half asleep. First comment was to praise Onenote on Android. I like it already a lot more than it is on Windows Phone 7.

My second post was to encourage Microsoft for more ports, most notability, ZunePass, to the Android. I still use my ZuneHD but sometimes I don't have it with me and it would be nice to have on my Android phone.

I gave up my Zune HD as soon as Spotify came out. I also moved my collection to Google Music as a backup. Thankfully I have 3 Google accounts to take advantage of the 20K Song limit.

I hate the design. I wish developers would follow the style guide for the mobile OS. This is designed with Windows Phone design guide in mind.

Look at tune-in radio, they designed it nicely for Windows Phone and it looks nothing like the Android or iOS version. That is a developer(s) that knows how to design for the right mobile OS.

With that said, I will not install it on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I will instal it on my iPhone 4S though.

Just my two cents.

Problem is that when developers use the SDK there are guidelines to follow for each different OS, which makes the app look different between them.

Neobond said,
Problem is that when developers use the SDK there are guidelines to follow for each different OS, which makes the app look different between them.

Yes, as well it should. Apps don't have to look the same in different platforms. It should complement the OS.

UndergroundWire said,
I hate the design. I wish developers would follow the style guide for the mobile OS. This is designed with Windows Phone design guide in mind.

Look at tune-in radio, they designed it nicely for Windows Phone and it looks nothing like the Android or iOS version. That is a developer(s) that knows how to design for the right mobile OS.

With that said, I will not install it on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I will instal it on my iPhone 4S though.

Just my two cents.

I disagree. I think keeping the Metro design will help attract people to Microsoft's new design language and eventually switch to the "full" Metro meaning Windows Phone.

smoledman said,

I disagree. I think keeping the Metro design will help attract people to Microsoft's new design language and eventually switch to the "full" Metro meaning Windows Phone.

So what you are saying is if a developer likes the iOS design, they should just design stuff for Android and Windows Phone using the iOS design style.

Or if a developer likes the Android design, they should just design stuff for iOS and Windows Phone using the Android design style.

Considering that iOS and Android have more exposure than Windows Phone, let's use your philosophy and kill Windows Phone Metro design all together. You sir are smart. I like the way you think. +1 For you.

Or perhaps a smarter way of thinking is design to the standards of the OS. If I am a developer, I have to put my personal feelings aside and just design to the standards of the OS I am developing in so that it makes for a more pleasant experience to the end user.

Looking at the One Note app, I chose to uninstall it on my Galaxy Nexus, I have it installed on my iPhone 4S because quite frankly it's not my primary phone and I am not fond of iOS in general.

UndergroundWire said,
I hate the design. I wish developers would follow the style guide for the mobile OS. This is designed with Windows Phone design guide in mind.

Look at tune-in radio, they designed it nicely for Windows Phone and it looks nothing like the Android or iOS version. That is a developer(s) that knows how to design for the right mobile OS.

With that said, I will not install it on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I will instal it on my iPhone 4S though.

Just my two cents.


i agree, but in this particular case the app looks like it follows most of the google guidlines, though it looks like they're using their own fonts and icon styles (not cool), but the action bar looks very 'modern android'

UndergroundWire said,
I hate the design. I wish developers would follow the style guide for the mobile OS. This is designed with Windows Phone design guide in mind.

Look at tune-in radio, they designed it nicely for Windows Phone and it looks nothing like the Android or iOS version. That is a developer(s) that knows how to design for the right mobile OS.

With that said, I will not install it on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I will instal it on my iPhone 4S though.

Just my two cents.

Microsoft tends to follow the OS guidelines, except when the guidelines would lose or break functionality of the software product. Look at Office on OS X, it looks, and works more like a Mac application than some of the stuff Apple puts out.

The other problem is Android has very little UI guidelines, as even the phone MFRs that modify Android itself take their devices to look and work in ways that it doesn't look or act like other Android phones.

This extends into the base problem of the Android API set that provides a very limited set of functionality to developers, requiring them to recreate basic features that the OS should provide in a uniform way to all applications.

thenetavenger said,

Microsoft tends to follow the OS guidelines, except when the guidelines would lose or break functionality of the software product. Look at Office on OS X, it looks, and works more like a Mac application than some of the stuff Apple puts out.

The other problem is Android has very little UI guidelines, as even the phone MFRs that modify Android itself take their devices to look and work in ways that it doesn't look or act like other Android phones.

This extends into the base problem of the Android API set that provides a very limited set of functionality to developers, requiring them to recreate basic features that the OS should provide in a uniform way to all applications.

http://developer.android.com/design/index.html

Flae_qui said,
only 500 notes

One of the reasons that I'm sticking with Evernote too (for my iPad and iPhone though). I don't mind too much about paying £2.99 to keep using the app past 500 notes, but I'm not making another in-app purchase, costing £10.49, for the same thing on my iPad. Plus, I prefer Evernote anyway.

Having said that, for those who need a "Shared Notebooks" feature, OneNote does it for free while Evernote charges £31.99/yr.

Edited by Manish, Feb 8 2012, 7:34pm :

Flae_qui said,
only 500 notes.. i'll stick with evernote

Evernote isn't bad, it just doesn't come close to the feature set of OneNote.

Especially when you are using it meetings and handwriting notes in it, or recording the meeting as Audio or Video. (Especially when OneNote 'links' the notes you take with the recordings and also does voice recognition on the recordings so that you can search for when someone was talking about a specific subject.

OneNote's synchronization and sharing features are far beyond, as I have two main OneNote notebooks, and no matter if I'm using a kiosk with a web browser, and iPad, an Android phone opening the web version, or at a computer with OneNote install or WP7 with it integrated, I always have my information at my finger tips.

OneNote has advantages, that often would benefit users if they would give it a chance. Even just taking voice notes on my Phone is easier to tap my Voice Tile/Icon, and start recording that to use a their party dedicated recording application.

I don't ever see MSFT throwing full office on other platforms ever unless windows sales fall off a cliff and they can the OS division. then they would be more like adobe and fade into irrelevance. one note was always a kind of ****** child so it is no surprise to see it tossed against the wall and see if it sticks.

neonspark said,
I don't ever see MSFT throwing full office on other platforms ever unless windows sales fall off a cliff and they can the OS division. then they would be more like adobe and fade into irrelevance. one note was always a kind of ****** child so it is no surprise to see it tossed against the wall and see if it sticks.

Um, Microsoft Word and Excel are almost as old as the Mac and were primarily Mac applications until Windows 3.0. They still have a complete Mac department at Microsoft and are working on iOS lite versions, and have been providing a Web version of Office for a couple of years for free.

OneNote is a part of Office, so just this article alone and fact that it is on more platforms that just Windows already makes your argument void.

techguy77 said,
Makes sense cause future of Windows on mobile devices is uncertain.

It also makes sense because it gets their online services, like SkyDrive, more exposure.

techguy77 said,
Makes sense cause future of Windows on mobile devices is uncertain.

Really? Windows 8 on ARM is uncertain? If you think WP7 will fail, you are forgetting that the eventual convergence of the OSes will ensure Windows on Mobile devices will not be something that dies.

Besides, Windows Mobile exists outside of WP7 right now. WinCE just had its 7.0 release last year, and is a far richer than Android or iOS as just a device class OS.

I also think people skip over the number of devices that WinCE and WinNT embedded are in use all of the world. You probably typed your comment, and it went through a NAT router or Cable Modem or DSL modem or even ISP level Router than is running WinCE or WinNT embedded.

Just Ford Motor company alone is a massive customer delivering WinCE to its customers everyday, and yet people sit around and think Windows Mobile is dead or will die.

This becomes even more 'weird' as Windows 8 on ARM and other CPU architectures is preparing for release, that will extend the base Windows NT quality of experience to a new CONSUMER class of devices. (Even if they don't run x86 software, they will run .NET software and WinRT software, which is the direction serious developers are moving towards to free themselves from specific hardware architectures.)

Just weird that I see this type of assessment, and I realize the 'sad' level of IT journalism is to blame for this; however, it is still just weird that a 'hard' conclusion or 'doubt' would be formed without the person having personal curiosity, and going beyond the 'pull quote' type of reporting we find all over the internet.

IT writing in general has a fundamental lack of understanding of technology.

Sure 'author a,b,c' may be able to recite base features of a technology, but very few can take it forward to 'understand' the implications of the technology.

For example: Everyone has heard of Aero/WDDM/WDM in Windows Vista/7 and even heard technical facts, but what does it mean in terms of technology and how it changes how computers work?

Do the people talking about it go on to explain how this opens the door to GP-GPU easier because of the direct GPU DMA I/O transfer technology that makes CUDA 2.x and OpenCL possible, or go on to explain how it is the first time an OS has control over a GPU and manages the threads to the GPU, and does pre-emptive multi-tasking, which in the past OSes have only done with CPU technology, and this is why Windows can manage several 3D Apps and games can running on the screen at the same time, without relying on Application yielding. Or how it can increase the graphical quality of even older games, because it exposes more VRAM to them to load larger textures without a FPS hit, and it can speed up games depending on how they write to the buffer/back buffer as well.

Or go even further to talk about the OS doing GPU SMP and moving away from Crossfire and SLI on Windows because it isn't needed if the OS can manage the GPU allocation and thread and RAM sharing between the GPUs

And one step further of 'understand' that this is why Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, offers a technology called RemoteFX that lets multi-users doing Remote Desktop have a full 3D experience, that even includes gaming, because the Windows OS is the ONLY current OS technology that can multi-task the GPU/GPUs in a server and let several users users share on or MORE GPUs. (This is also why VM technologies like VirtualBox and adjacent tools are able to offer 3D access to client VMs on even Windows 7, as the OS is handling the GPU threads and RAM, and can even share it between several VMs on the same system.

All of this is taking the information and applying a bit of 'understanding' to what it is doing and what it means to consumers and developers, that is sadly lacking right now.

Just as having the information about WP7 or Windows 8 and applying 'understanding' to see how the new technology 'offers' things beyond the base set of information.

The facts are there, but the 'understanding' to take it forward to the conclusions of what it really means is NEVER talked about.

(This is why people like Mark Russovich of Microsoft is an interesting figure in the technology world, as he has a good ability to take technical information and take it further to applied understanding that not only helps developers and even people on the upper layers of the Windows team, but also can explain this 'understanding' to average users and consumers.)

/rant

(Sorry about the extraneous rant, I just wish there was more understanding instead of looking at simple facts, headlines, or supporting a belief system.)

James812 said,
Not bad, Must try this out! Makes me want to get the Samsung Note more so now...

I don't see anything about stylus support. I believe the Samsung Note's stylus support is of Samsung's own creation so I doubt it supports it. Samsung is trying to get outside support for their API but since Android 4.0 adds official stylus support to the OS I doubt the Samsung API will get much traction. I really like the concept of the Note but it looks like it'll be one more product generation till they work the kinks out.

Asmodai said,

I don't see anything about stylus support. I believe the Samsung Note's stylus support is of Samsung's own creation so I doubt it supports it. Samsung is trying to get outside support for their API but since Android 4.0 adds official stylus support to the OS I doubt the Samsung API will get much traction. I really like the concept of the Note but it looks like it'll be one more product generation till they work the kinks out.

It is more than just Stylus support, Android would have to add in the concepts of Ink and handwriting technologies as well, which is beyond their engineering skill set and would step on Microsoft patents even more than it does now to be implemented well.