Microsoft Adds Multi-Window Support to OneNote Android App

The app now uses one of Android Nougat's hallmark features and allows users to keep their private notes under wraps.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft's notetaking app has learned a few new tricks, including a new display mode aimed at multitaskers.

An update to the Android version of the app allows users to display OneNote alongside another app that supports the mobile operating system's new multi-window feature. Available in Android 7.0 Nougat, multi-window support enables users to run apps side-by-side in resizable windows. In OneNote's case, users can jot notes while conducting online research with the Chrome browser docked right beside it.

Also new to OneNote on Android are password-protected notebook sections. The feature, already available in the desktop version of the app, now allows users to gain access to sections they may have secured on another device. Microsoft is also working on a streamlined method of reverting or undoing changes to notes in addition to enabling editing on section tabs.

Audio recording makes a return on the Android app, as does the ability to embed Office and PDF files. In general, Microsoft has expanded the number of content types the platform can handle, announced Scott Shapiro, product marketing manager at Microsoft OneNote.

"In addition to YouTube and Vimeo, you can now embed Office 365 Videos and Repl.it," wrote Shapiro in an Oct. 18 blog post. "With Repl.it, you can show executable code snippets right in OneNote to teach inline with your notes and lesson plans."

On Windows 10, educators can use the Shared Cart PC for OneNote feature to deliver a personalized OneNote experience to students on shared devices. Office 365 sign-in credentials now roam across devices and the app displays a new syncing indicator, showing students that their progress is being saved to the cloud.

Notetaking App War Heats Up

Challenging OneNote on its home turf, Evernote added a revamped version of its eponymous notetaking app to the Windows Store last month, replacing the Evernote Touch companion app for Windows 10. The company also released a Web Clipper extension for the Microsoft Edge browser.

Updates aside, Evernote said it was making a major change in how it operates its software platform.

By the end of 2016, Evernote expects to complete a migration of its service, along with the data of its 200 million customers, to the Google Cloud Platform. Previously, Evernote ran its own network and servers, an approach that allowed the company to set its own course but also came with some downsides.

In a Sept. 13 announcement, Ben McCormack, vice president of operations at Evernote, described the company's set-up as "expensive to maintain, slow to upgrade, and difficult to scale." He added, "And while the infrastructure we have now is perfectly suited to support Evernote as it runs today, it lacks the speed and flexibility we need for tomorrow."

The company is working with Google on the transition, a process that takes several weeks and should go unnoticed by users. The move could also have an impact on future versions of the app, McCormack said. "In addition to scale, speed, and stability, Google will also give Evernote access to some of the same deep-learning technologies that power services like translation, photo management, and voice search," he stated.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...