Microsoft Updates OneNote for iPhone and Mac

Microsoft Updates OneNote for iPhone and Mac

And both are major updates

Microsoft announced significant updates for its OneNote app on two key Apple platforms: the iPhone and the Mac. The iPhone version of OneNote gets an iOS 7 user experience update, integrates Office Lens capabilities and finally becomes a fully untethered, full-featured app. And the Mac version gets a number of new features, including print capabilities.

"It's important to us that you have a fluid and familiar digital note taking experience with OneNote on all the devices you love," Microsoft's Jevon Fark writes in a post to the Office Blogs. "In that vein, today we are releasing significant updates to OneNote for iPhone and OneNote for Mac, which deliver an improved experience on Apple devices."

Here's what's new.

OneNote for iPhone

This is a major update that brings the version number up to 2.2.1. The first thing you'll notice is the new iOS 7-style user experience, which replaces the pastel colors of the old version with a more modern look and feel.

As part of this UI refresh, OneNote picks up the same "drawer" UI that Microsoft uses in its Xbox Music app for iPhone: Just tap the Menu button (or swipe from the left edge) to display it.

This update also "untethers" OneNote for iPhone from the desktop, as Microsoft puts it. This means you can now create new notebooks and sections directly from the app, a feature that was added to OneNote for iPad back in September. "This means that you can now create a new notebook, share it with others, and get on the same page‚Äďall from the convenience of an iPhone," Microsoft notes.

OneNote for iPhone also gains integrated Office Lens functionality, which makes plenty of sense for a phone. (On Windows Phone, Office Lens is currently a separate, standalone app.) "This popular feature turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner so you can use it to take pictures of things like receipts or whiteboard notes," Fark explains. "Then, with Office Lens you can trim, enhance and make pictures more readable. Best thing is, images are automatically synced to OneNote, and if your picture includes printed text, OneNote can recognize the text with optical character recognition (OCR) so you can search for words in the image."

(I couldn't figure out how to get Office Lens working. I'll keep looking.)

OneNote for iPhone also lets you create a new page or Quick Note by tapping a new "+" button at the bottom of the screen. And the app has received a variety of performance, size and reliability improvements.

You can read more about the OneNote for iPhone changes in OneNote for iPhone update: Redesign for iOS 7, untethered and more.

OneNote for Mac

Released just over a month ago, OneNote for Mac gets printing support, including Save to PDF. You can now drag and drop images from a web browser into a note, or drag and drop photo files directly from Finder. And there are additional image formatting tools now so you can restore the size of the picture or rotate as needed.

OneNote also picks up the Format Painter tool from other Office applications. (I use this in Windows all the time.) And it correctly preserved formatting when you copy and paste mixed content from Word, Excel and other applications. You can also rename hyperlinks so they don't appear as long URLs but still retain the link.

You can read more about the OneNote for Mac changes in OneNote for Mac update: Print, capture content and more.

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