Feb 8, 2012
OneNote Mobile Apps Review
Hands up, who's not familiar with OneNote and is wondering what the heck am I writing about? Ah, probably those of you didn't even read this far. Ok, hands up, who's wondering what all the fuss is about, it's just a notepad, isn't it? Nope, not just a notepad. It is the most efficient and effortless way I know to make notes on this and that and add images and screenshots and documents and whatnot! to the notebook. Read more on Microsoft's OneNote page.
So, I have my work project information in OneNote, my kids' school schedules and info notes, my travel documents, and all sorts of this and that in OneNote. Already before it was available on any mobile platform, I stored my personal notebook in Skydrive, which enabled me to access it on any laptop I happened to be using (3, on a regular basis; two personal ones and the work laptop). As for last autumn, I had no mobile device on which I could access the notebook. Now I've got three. Oh, rejoice!
The first one, the one with the built-in OneNote app (i.e. Office Hub), was of course my Lumia 800 Windows Mango phone. I didn't really even think of it beforehand, but when I logged in with my WinLive account, as the phone asked me to do, the notebook appeared in my Office Hub. And this further inspired me to share the work notebooks to, as it provided an easy access to different kinds of data without the need to open the laptop.
Naturally the Win phone natively integrated OneNote mobile version is the best one. It allows you to pin notebooks or pages to tiles. It allows you to create and edit notes (pages in notebook sections). You can add to do -lists, numbered and bulleted lists, pictures (either from camera roll or take a new photo) and even audio to the pages. And you can copy-paste text t from e.g. a website to the pages. Pages can also be emailed.
Unfortunately, the phone screen is kinda small for any major note taking and such, so here's one more reason to look forward to the Win8 tablets!
Then came the iPad. The OneNote app for iPad was released in December last year, and I got my iPad conveniently about a month later. So it was, in fact, among the first applications I installed on the iPad, along with Lync. Out of the three mobile OneNotes, it also holds the second place in features and overall usability - and as for now, the first place in non-OneNote-related usability what with the biggest screen and all.
Like in the Win phone, you can create and edit notebook pages, add pictures from camera roll or take a new photo, add to do -lists and bulleted lists, copy-paste text, and email pages. Numbered lists don't seem to be present, nor audio.
The features that I don't like in the iPad OneNote are that the notebooks are displayed in an apple way as a pop-out sidebar instead of e.g. the starting page. The last viewed page remains open when the app is closed, and the app opens to that page when launched again. I would like to leave the application in the notebook list, not with a page open.
The OneNote Android app was released only today, I could say finally. Since I also have a Galaxy Tab, which I still do use somewhat even while owning an iPad, I jumped at the release and installed the OneNote on my Galaxy Tab. The free version allows up to 500 pages, after which you need to get the full version for a few euros. Only the synced pages count.
The OneNote experience on Android was quite pleasant, the UI resembling the Win phone version more than the iPad one, editing was easy enough with the same possibilities offered as on the other mobile OneNote apps - to do -lists, bullets, numbered list too, the pics from either camera roll or a new photo, and copy-pasting. There is no email page command available though.
The only thing that was a letdown, really, was creating new pages. No matter where I am when creating a new page, it always creates it in Unfiled notes section of the Personal (Web) notebook - which I don't even use, since I already had a personal Skydrive-stored notebook, long before the mobile devices came along. And I can't seem to get rid of this annoying unnecessary and unwanted notebook if I tried - obviously, since the mobile apps want to use it when I don't.
None of the mobile OneNote apps enable moving or copying the pages or sections around. But all-in-all, the basic functions are there, my data from different notebooks is available and easily synced, I can edit the note pages too. Hurray for mobile OneNote - my notetaking in seminars etc. took a huge leap forward with the release of iOs and Android OneNote apps :)