OneNote for Android Updated with Handwriting Support

OneNote for Android Updated with Handwriting Support

Microsoft gets serious about Android

Microsoft today released a new version of its OneNote mobile app for Android handsets and tablets. The new version supports handwritten ink notes, a new tablet-optimized experience and other improvements.

The Android app update is part of a series of OneNote updates I'll be writing about today, and is aimed at those heading back-to-school. (In New England, this doesn't happen until after Labor Day, but I know a lot of people in other parts of the country are already back in class.)

Here's what's new.

Handwriting support

This one is obviously a big deal: Until this update you pretty much needed a high-end Windows device with a high-quality stylus to take decent handwritten notes in OneNote. But now this capability is available on Android, and I was able to test how it works with my wife's stylus-capable Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

You don't technically need a stylus to take handwritten notes, as you can draw with your finger if you want to. But the stylus-based notes are surprisingly smooth and readable. And of course your notes will sync across all your devices, so you can access them from elsewhere.

You can also use a stylus to annotate type-written notes or other items (like photos) that you have stored in OneNote.

You can now change the color of a notebook page, add grid lines or ruled lines, or hide lines, to make it easier to take handwritten notes. You do this while in handwriting mode.

Tablet optimized user experience

I don't have a full-sized Android tablet to test this on, but OneNote for Android has also been updated to better support such devices. In fact it looks an awful lot like the Windows tablet version of OneNote.

Until you get to work, that is. Then it starts to look like the Office for iPad apps, with a nice, single-line ribbon UI that provides access to tools. It's pretty sweet looking, actually, and I assume that UI is coming to the Windows version.

But wait there's more

Microsoft notes that it has also fixed a number of bugs and improved stability, of course. And this version of the app specifically supports the new LG G3 devices too.

You can download OneNote for Android from the Google Play Store.

TAGS: Office 365
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