It's been a few weeks since there has been any major OneNote news, but fear not! Microsoft has not forgotten the new crown jewel of the Microsoft Office realm. Microsoft recently announced new and improved features coming soon to the iOS app, as well as a new OneNote app specifically for Android Wear smartwatches.
It's actually pretty impressive how quickly Microsoft jumped on the Android Wear smartwatch bandwagon. Smartwatches are still somewhat embryonic as a technology, and Android Wear is relatively new — just launched by Google in March of this year. Granted, Microsoft isn't rushing its own smartwatch onto shelves just yet, but it's a little out of character for the company to so quickly embrace cutting-edge technology.
The free OneNote for Android Wear app is available for free in the Google Play Store. Just download and install it on your Android Wear device, and a simple "OK, Google... take a note" is all that it will take to dictate information to be stored in OneNote. The OneNote for Android Wear app requires an Android smartphone running Android version 4.3 or higher — it also must be compatible with Android Wear and the Android Wear smartwatch in order to work.
Microsoft announced other new features for OneNote for iOS as well. Now, users will be able to clip websites from the mobile Safari app, import file attachments from emails, embed photos from iOS within OneNote, and share any information from any app on the device to OneNote. The ability to share content from other apps is actually a function of iOS 8 and requires the latest version of iOS in order for it to work.
Watch this video that demonstrates OneNote for iOS 8:
This is just the latest in Microsoft's relatively aggressive push to make OneNote everyone's default app. OneNote is the only tool from the Microsoft Office suite that has been given the full Modern UI treatment and is offered as a Windows 8 app, plus it was the first of the Microsoft applications to be offered on a cross-platform basis for iOS and Android.
Microsoft continues to expand both the reach and capabilities of OneNote by offering it on new platforms — like Android Wear — and by adding new and improved features on the various versions of the tool. The more features Microsoft adds for other platforms like iOS and Android, the more consistent the experience becomes and the more valuable OneNote is as a go-to app for storing and accessing information.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft also supports Google Glass with a dedicated OneNote app. Of course, that assumes Google Glass will eventually break out of its perpetual beta status and become an actual product.
What do you think of Microsoft's OneNote push? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Tony Bradley is a principal analyst with Bradley Strategy Group. He is a respected authority on technology, and information security. He writes regularly for Forbes, and PCWorld, and contributes to a wide variety of online and print media outlets. He has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Unified Communications for Dummies, Essential Computer Security, and PCI Compliance.