Microsoft's OneNote hits the App Store

Microsoft has released OneNote, which is its first Microsoft Office application for iOS devices. OneNote is a note-taking application, which is very popular with Windows tablet users. With OneNote you can create and view notes and also sync them across multiple platforms and devices. Created notes can contain text, pictures, bullets and checkboxes. To use the application, you will need a Windows Live ID.

OneNote is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or higher. It can also be used with the iPad however it is not a universal binary so will not be the greatest experience. The app is free for a limited time only and currently only available in the US App Store.

With many other fully featured note taking apps already available for iOS, do you see any advantage to using OneNote compared to something like Evernote? Either way could lead to Microsoft releasing iOS versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint?

[iTunes Link]

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Microsoft's OneNote hits the App Store


Why would you use this Johnny Come Lately Microsoft garbage when Evernote does all of this and more, for free, and has for years, and is cross-platform?

People and enterprise who are already heavily invested in MS Office might be interested. There are a lot of them out there.

No download for me. Among the horrible reviews it's getting, the app isn't even compatible w/ 4.1. This app isn't worth losing an un-tethered jailbreak over.

Johnny come lately? OneNote has been around LONG before Evernote. LONG before the iPhone. It's the one thing I've been praying for since I got my first iPhone.
For some of us who work in OneNote daily, this is a Godsend. And for what it's worth, Evernote is fine, but it ain't OneNote brother.

I agree after switching to mac 3.5 years ago... OneNote is my one regret. Evernote is a catchall, I have used it for 5 years to catchall my misc. tidbits of information. OneNote is a real productivity app. If decent mac, ipad & iphone OneNote apps were released, my computing life would be complete!

Yea what's up with that. The icon is high res. but in app graphics are lame. Tisk Tisk MS. Also don't get the required LiveID and how that's going to get setup with work.

The sign in issue was an unforeseen bug. We're working on it.
As for the graphics, well, I don't know. Retina is supported and on my phone it looks wonderful.

It's obviously a turd, like everything Microsoft produces nowadays, and just a ploy to suck people into their Office products. What's interesting is what it says about Microsoft's strategy, or lack thereof. I hope Apple is smart enough to not bail Microsoft out when they're dying, as Microsoft did when Apple was struggling. Still, as much as it sickens me, I can imagine Apple and Microsoft getting cozier to oppose teh Google—especially if Steve is out of the picture.

Seems like Microsoft is trying to get a bunch of new Live accounts created. Think of it, with millions and millions of iPhones sold (not to mention other iOS devices), that would be a huge increase in the number of Live memberships, giving Microsoft more leverage overall

Yes and, as much as I hate to admit it, Microsoft is further along with the cloud than Apple. MobileMe is a joke, and has anyone at Apple even thought about a web version of iWork? Apple seems to be as clueless about the cloud as Microsoft is about mobile.

Working for a Fortune 500 company its tough to assume consumerization tools will replace our antiquated Microsoft "standards" anytime soon. Savvy users move to things like Evernote, but you can't alienate all the people using corporate standards.
I would love to throw out all my Microsoft software today if I could. Until then its nice to see Microsoft understanding that not everyone wants to use their hardware (or a PC) as well - I hope Office comes out for iOS, otherwise adoption of iPads and iPhones in the enterprise is slowed.
Right now we're trying to get Citrix to deploy office to an iPad. Works, but not great.

That was a bug with SkyDrive actually. It's being worked on. For now, the workaround is to just keep trying. It will eventually let you log in and go.

I see on their blog it says due to heavy demand users may get this error. Once you do get logged in it says it should be fine from then on. Still trying to get in right now.

It's about time Microsoft offered an official app to sync OneNote with the iPhone. There's a third party app that's been syncing Onenote with the iPhone for over a year now called Mobilenoter.
OneNote for the PC is by far the best application MS has offered in a VERY long time. I've been using it for 5 years now...even tried switching to Evernote but couldn't. Found Evernote to be more "Microsoft-like", and Onenote to be more "Apple-like" (if that makes sense).

I'm not sure where the johnny-come-lately charge originates, as Onenote has been around since 2003 and Evernote just went public in 2008. I've been using Onenote for over five years and have found it to be a very robust notetaking program. I recently tried Evernote, because of its mobile platforms, but was unimpressed with its overall organizational abilities compared to Onenote. Now, with Microsoft Office's move the cloud and to the iphone, Evernote's advantages are now met by Microsoft, especially once they start expanding into other mobile platforms.
I downloaded the app yesterday and have had no problems (apparently their servers were overloaded due to unexpected volume, thus the 400 error). My notes are there, I added a note and it synched to my home computer. Some of the full features are not there yet, but I expect they, like most iphone developers, will expand the apps capabilities over time.
And since a lot of people get this through work, this will be very useful.

No doubt!!! Sometimes it sucks being in Canada!!! We get left behind! Why do we get left behind? Sometimes tho by the time it gets to Canada what ever it is its better then it was when it was at first!!!

I'll happily trade you our ultra-violence, corporate owned government and lack of universal healthcare and basic human rights for first dips on software updates.

I'm in Australia, used a US account to get the app, but it won;t let me sign in...? My LiveID is listed as living in Australia, but would they be so pedantic as this? Surely not...
Anyone else?

The syncing and login problems seem much better this morning. Fingers crossed! Overall I like the UI very much -- Evernote is horrible by comparison. But how do you move notes between notebooks? I don't want to keep adding new notes to "Unfiled" with no way to file them on the phone. Even the OneNote web app doesn't seem to have a way to move notes between notebooks. These are big usability problems:

  1. Must have search capability.
  2. Must be able to actually file notes that are "Unfiled".
  3. Must be able to sort notes on the device automatically, or at least be able to "grab" a note and move it up or down the list in the notebook.

Very surprised that the development team worked on this for 2 years and missed these 3 items!