Microsoft Updates OneNote App for Android

The note-taking app gains new features designed to make it easier to capture and view content on Android-powered mobile devices.

Microsoft has released an updated version of its OneNote app for Android (version 15.0.2416.2300) that simplifies the process of gathering notes from other applications and, in essence, helps users get "more things done in less time," according to the software giant. The app is available now on Google Play for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.

The app includes a new Add to OneNote feature that allows users to capture information from other apps using the sharing functionality built into many apps. "Just look for a Share button in your favorite browser, news aggregator or recipe application. Then select Add to OneNote, and OneNote will store the item for you and also make it available to you on all your devices," explained the OneNote Team in a blog post.

Add to OneNote works with "articles, webpages, images, videos, and files," said the company. Users can also opt to capture practically any information that appears on-screen as an image by capturing an image using Android's native screenshot functionality and then selecting Add to OneNote under sharing options.

Also new is multiwindow mode for devices that support the multitasking feature, including the Samsung Galaxy S3. Multiwindow mode lets OneNote share screen real estate with another app, similar to Windows' screen-snapping option, allowing users to manage their notes as they capture information from another app.

Finally, OneNote for Android includes a Recent widget that grants "quick access to your most recently accessed notes," said Microsoft. The update also includes "improvements with rendering and keyboard input issues," according the app's listing on Google Play.

The release of new OneNote for Android apps caps a busy year for the team behind the note-taking platform, which has come under increased competition from apps such as Evernote and Google Keep. Late last month, Microsoft released an updated OneNote Windows Store app that is optimized for Windows 8.1.

The Windows version includes full-screen views and optical character recognition (OCR) support. New cross-device syncing capabilities work with the app's Recent Notes feature, surfacing notes "whether it was a quick reminder to yourself on your Android phone, a poem you wrote on your iPad, or the recipe you captured on your Surface Pro 2," said Microsoft. Improvements to the app's digital inking technology and expanded ink color options round out the new enhancements.

Google hit a snag earlier this year when the company first released its Keep note-taking app on March 17, only to pull it the same day. It was released a few days later on March 20, but not before its absence caused users to seek out alternatives, said CEO Phil Libin of Evernote.

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 network of...