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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