Microsoft launches OneNote iPad app, destroys own reputation in the process

OneNote is one of the most powerful apps I know on a PC. It’s a note taking app that lets you do all kinds of things, from having searchable handwriting to infinitely scrollable pages, audio recording capability and so on. I used it for a couple of years back before tablets really took off, using a laptop/netbook and a Wacom digitizer tablet to get me the system that I now have in the iPad on a computer. I loved it, and still have fond memories of it. All the note taking apps I use on the iPad are basically OneNote-replacements (that’s not to say they’re less powerful), and you know what they say about never forgetting your first. That’s why OneNote on the iPad was huge news when I first read it.

…and then I actually tried it. This isn’t OneNote. The iPhone app has been out for a while, and while I knew how horribly basic that one was, I assumed that the extra time spent developing the iPad version would result in something that’s actually reminiscent of the computer version. It isn’t. Forget handwritten notes, document import, PDF exports, audio recording and all those other things that both OneNote proper and all those other iPad note taking apps have. OneNote for the iPad is basically a purple version of the Notes app that comes with iOS. You can create notebooks and notes, and in those you can insert images, text, bulletpoints and checkmarks. That is literally all you can do.

I don’t get Microsoft and I never will. Its business decisions are like someone running into a glass door, falling down, getting up, and repeating until the end of time. People have used OneNote as an example of how Windows 8 will be a valid tablet OS in a day and age where iOS and Android are the only ones that still matter. OneNote isn’t usable on tablets in its current PC version however, and if this app is any indication of the progress Microsoft is making with a tablet version, it never will be. At least the app is free.

[iTunes via iLounge]

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets and tends to stick with his choice of device for a long time as a result of that. After a five year break from writing, he's back to share this view with the world once again.