OneNote, Microsoft’s note-taking application, is available as a free download for the Apple iPhone and is available from the iTunes store, Microsoft said on Jan. 18.
OneNote Mobile for the iPhone is currently available in the United States only, with additional locations to be announced as they become available, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. Microsoft said OneNote will be available as a free downlad for a limited time period, but the company did not specify when that period would end.
The OneNote app lets users take notes, capture, annotate, and embed photos from their iPhone cameras, and then automatically synchronize the files from OneNote with their Windows Live SkyDrive accounts, she said. With OneNote users can access and share their notes anywhere online, on a Windows PC, or a smartphone, according to the company. OneNote can also capture handwriting, audio recordings, and video clips, said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Office. Supported browsers for OneNote on iPhone include Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.
The “unsung hero” of Office, as Numoto called it, OneNote was requested by a number of Microsoft customers for mobile note-taking. While the app is a popular part of the “Office hub” on Windows Phone 7, and the company cites ComScore numbers that claim OneNote is installed on 78 million PCs in the United States, OneNote is not very well-known in comparison to the old Notepad note writing utility that has been a standard part of Windows for many years. OneNote Mobile is a “natural extension” to the iPhone, the company said.
“iPhone users can have many of the same advantages as their Windows Phone counterparts,” said Numoto.
Only users with iPhones and Windows Phones will have access to OneNote Mobile to view, create, and edit notes and lists on their phones. Users with Android phones or other devices will have to settle for viewing, but not editing, OneNote notes using the existing OneNote Web app.
“It should be about the ideas and information, not the device, right?” Numoto said. The company will “continue to bring” Office to the devices, platforms, and operating systems customers are using, he said.
While the mobile version is a stripped-down version of the full-blown desktop version of OneNote, the functionality is similar between Windows Phone 7 and iPhone, Microsoft said. The look and feel of the app has been optimized for each device, so that OneNote on Windows Phone looks like a Windows Phone app, and OneNote on iPhone looks and feels like an iPhone app, according to Microsoft.
OneNote joins a rather short list of Microsoft applications that are available for the iPhone, including Bing, Windows Live Messenger, and Microsoft Tag Reader, and there are none for the iPad at this time. There is no information available as to whether or not Microsoft will be coming out with iOS versions of its popular Office suite.
There is intense interest for mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and there was a lot of speculation over the summer that Microsoft was going to bring Office applications to Nokia and other smartphones soon.
Users can “expect Office to continue evolving and integrating productivity experiences in new ways and on new devices,” Microsoft said.