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Microsoft OneNote Mounts Comeback on Android, iPad, iPhone and Windows Phone

OneNote Mobile offers a nice alternative to sync-to-cloud note-taking apps such as EverNote and Springpad. You can edit notes containing rich text, and sync with mobile devices via SkyDrive and the OneNote Web App.

Both the iPhone and iPad versions of OneNote do a pretty good job of mimicking the look of paper notebook pages.


OneNote Mobile for iPad

However, this relatively graphically rich representation of a paper page might be an attempt to mask the app's poor handling of the text itself. If you refer back to the first screenshot in this article, you'll see that OneNote Mobile for Android retains the header and hyperlinked text formatting created using OneNote Web App. The iPhone and iPad apps, however, do not render either. In fact, they display raw HTML tags instead of hyperlinked text (see below).

The OneNote apps for iPhone and iPad do display images correctly. Below is a photo in a note page created on an iPhone.

OneNote for Windows Phone
OneNote for Windows Phone is part of the Microsoft Office mobile suite. The default view is of the most recently modified or created notes in the Office Hub. (There's also a notebook view.) A unique option available to Windows Phone users is the ability to pin a note as a tile on the Start Page. This is useful, for example, for to-do lists.


You can pin OneNote for Windows Phone notes to the Start page as reminders.

The Windows Phone version of OneNote provides lots of formatting options not available in the Android or iOS apps. You can do boldface, italics, underline, strikethrough, and highlighting. You can create both bulleted and numbered lists. (The Android and iOS apps can only do bullets.) OneNote for Windows Phone even lets you attach audio recordings to a note.

As you might expect, the formatting you've done also looks good when displayed.

Name: OneNote Mobile

OneNote Mobile offers an alternative to sync-to-cloud note-taking apps such as EverNote and Springpad. It should be especially appealing to people comfortable with the Microsoft Office ribbon interface introduced in Office 2007. The ability to edit notes containing rich text is another useful feature. Finally, users of OneNote for the desktop can sync with mobile devices via SkyDrive and OneNote Web App.
Price: Free versions; Android upgrade $4.99; iOS upgrade $14.99.
Pro:
  • Mobile users can edit rich-text documents.
  • Syncs with Microsoft Office OneNote on Windows.
  • Free version available.
Con:
  • Inconsistent features across platforms.
  • Can sync only over Wi-Fi.
  • Memory hog.

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