Microsoft OneNote for iPad Released

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Microsoft OneNote for iPad hit the iPad App Store yesterday. There’s been an iPhone version of the popular OneNote note taking app for some time now, and now it’s got a big brother on the iPad.

Here’s a little about what OneNote for iPad can do:

Create searchable notes with text, pictures and bullets. Make and manage to-do lists with checkboxes. Then keep your notes in sync using free Microsoft SkyDrive® online storage to access, edit and manage them from virtually anywhere, from your PC or almost any web browser. Access your notes online at

The app requires a (free) Windows Live ID to sign in with. You can use an existing one or setup a new one from within the app. It also requires iOS 4.3 or higher. It opens notebooks created in OneNote 2010 or the OneNote web app.

I used to love the OneNote app when I was using Windows PCs. It has always struck me as one of Microsoft’s best apps – so I was glad to see it hit iOS with the release of the iPhone app back in January, and glad to see the OneNote for iPad release this week.

Sadly, I find the app to be a major disappointment so far. Here are a few reasons why:

— The UI on the iPad is OK, but not nearly as nice feeling as the Windows app. The Skydrive web interface is very basic and ugly as well.

— The app has only manual sync, which is a big drawback straight away in my book – but it also works very poorly and slowly. Other iOS note taking apps offer virtually real-time sync, with what you write on the iPad being just about instantly viewable on companion desktop or web apps. My first efforts with OneNote for iPad showed that notes didn’t update up to 10 minutes after manually syncing.

— There are places where the interface on the iPad app is well below clumsy. For instance, I added an image to a note. Then found there was no way at all that I could see to remove it.

These things would make this a mediocre app in their own right – but bearing in mind that there are several outstanding note taking apps for the iPad, this just leaves OneNote for iPad feeling lame and way behind the game.

Oh, and it’s a free app, but it limits you to working with up to 500 notes. If you go above that you need to upgrade via In-App purchase (at $14.99) to work with more. Honestly, this is not a great free app at the moment – no way would it be worth $14.99 as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s an App Store link for OneNote for iPad

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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