Microsoft Brings OneNote to the iPhone - Can the Rest of Office be Far Behind?

OneNote is the unsung hero of Microsoft’s Office suite. The note-taking application allows Windows users (there is no Mac version yet) to quickly take notes during lectures or meetings, record audio, and compile images, videos and scanned documents into virtual binders. Starting today, OneNote is also available on the iPhone. The app marks the first time Microsoft has released a native iPhone version of one of its Office products.

For a limited time, the app will be available for free (iTunes link). It’s not clear how much Microsoft plans to charge for OneNote once at the end of the introduction period.


OneNote on the iPhone allows users to quickly take notes and create checklists – or mix the two together in one document. You can also add images, though the app does not currently support videos. All of this, of course, is also synced to Microsoft’s Office web apps and accessible through SkyDrive.

Office Exec - Starting today, OneNote Mobile for iPhone helps free your ideas.jpg

Sadly, there is no iPad version of OneNote yet, though the iPad would obviously be the perfect device for an app like this.

As a first attempt at bringing its Office products to iOS, OneNote is a valiant attempt. It’s got just enough features to make it useful, without trying to add too much functionality in the mix. Its design is open enough to make it useful for taking quick notes on the go and for accessing your lecture or meeting notes on the phone.

On the other hand, though, OneNote for iPhone is not a substitute for a fully-featured task manager like ToDo or OmniFocus.

Will More Office Apps Follow?

The question, of course, is if Microsoft plans to bring more of its Office apps to iOS. Microsoft already offers Office for the Mac (and the latest version is probably the best one so far). In his blog post today, Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft VP in charge of Office, notes that “whether it’s on a PC or Mac, a mobile phone, or online through the Office Web Apps on multiple browsers, we continue to bring Office to the devices, platforms, and operating systems our customers are using. It should be about the ideas and information, not the device, right?” To us, this sounds like we can expect some support for the rest of the Office suite on iOS in the future.