OneNote on iOS Gains Smarter, More Touch-Friendly To-Dos

In addition to updated OneNote lists, iPad users are one step closer to working with mathematical equations ahead of the back-to-school season.


Microsoft's OneNote for iPhone and iPad now makes it easier for users to manage their lists and students to incorporate mathematical equations into their mobile note-keeping.

Announcing a new update for the OneNote app for Apple iOS, OneNote Product Manager Ryan McMinn said the biggest change is a more touch-friendly way of creating and managing lists and to-dos.

"We received feedback that lists worked best with a keyboard, mouse and screens even the largest of cargo shorts couldn't accommodate," wrote McMinn in a June 18 company blog post. "Accordingly, checkboxes for ants have been replaced with checkboxes designed for humans."

In addition to more generously sized user interface (UI) elements, OneNote now automatically reorganizes completed items. Once the updated app is installed, "checking an item moves it to the Completed section of the list," he said.

"You can also show or hide completed items anytime. Tap Edit to rearrange, indent, or select multiple to-dos," McMinn added. List previews also display the number of items left to complete.

The update spells good news for math students with iPhones, and even better news for those with iPads.

"You can now view equations on iPhone," McMinn announced. "Much to the happiness of some students, they still have some excuses for not completing their homework, as it is not possible to edit equations. Yet," he continued, hinting that the functionality will be enabled in a future update.

No such restriction on the iPad, however. It's now possible to both view and edit equations with OneNote on Apple's tablet.

The updated notebook app also borrows from its paper-based counterparts with new lined and grid backgrounds that mimic binder paper. And a new sign-up experience simplifies the process of sharing notebooks.

"We simplified the iOS and Mac sign up experience so you can easily share notebooks with your friends, family, classmates, and colleagues," McMinn reported. "Now all you need is an email address (it can be one you already have, such as or Gmail) and a password to create a new account and begin working together."

Meanwhile, Microsoft's note-taking platform continues to make inroads in the educational market.

Certiport, a professional testing site, recently announced the addition of Microsoft Office Specialist OneNote to its roster of certifications. "Microsoft certifications are valuable credentials to increase competence, productivity and credibility, while preparing teachers for success in the classroom," said Certiport in a statement.

Microsoft will be offering a OneNote certification of its own during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE 2015) conference, taking place June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia.

"The OneNote team is dedicated to furthering these goals of your OneNote training and building credibility within your communities and are pleased to offer Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy (1-day) training, a 'Prepare for Microsoft OneNote Certification' class, and the OneNote certification exam itself at the ISTE 2015 conference later this month," the OneNote Team said in a blog post.

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...