OneNote for Windows Store (Metro) Updated

multiplatform (560x254)

The OneNote team(s) have had a big release day. In addition to the OneNote for Android updates for tablets and handwriting, OneNote was also updated for Windows Store (aka Metro app). Microsoft’s OneNote team announced this update on their blog on August 19.


The OneNote team claims the ability to print pages was the number one requested feature. This feature has been added in this update and it allows printing your notes. In addition, this update allows print previews, allowing portrait and landscape orientations, and the usual printing options like multiple copies and two-sided printing.

In a subtle move away from strictly using Charms for peripherals, printing is supported via Charms, App Bar as well as the conventional Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut.


OneNote for Windows Metro Print Charms
OneNote for Windows Metro Print Charms


OneNote for Windows Metro Print App Bar
OneNote for Windows Metro Print App Bar

File attachments

Another highly requested feature added was the ability to insert files into notes. If you have an external document you want to add to your notes, you can now insert the document via the radial menu’s insert command. This adds the document into the note and makes it available as-is, and when opened, it opens as a read-only version of the document.

OneNote for Windows Metro Insert File
OneNote for Windows Metro Insert File

PDF printout

Unlike inserting files directly, inserting them as a PDF printout “prints” the file out to OneNote as a PDF. This way, the entire document shows up inside OneNote and then can be annotated inside the note. Both the file attachment and PDF printout were added recently to the iPad and Mac versions of OneNote recently.

OneNote for Windows Metro Insert PDF printout
OneNote for Windows Metro Insert PDF printout

Highlighting with ink

Much like the Android and iOS updates, this feature allows ink highlighting. This can be done via a stylus/pen or a finger. The radial menu now shows multiple colors of “pens” for highlighting and inking.

OneNote for Windows Metro Highlight Pens
OneNote for Windows Metro Highlight Pens

The update is now available in the Store. Let us know how you like it.

OneNote for Android Tablets Is Here



Microsoft’s OneNote team announced on August 19 that OneNote for Android is now available for Android tablets. However, that was not the only update made to OneNote for Android.

Handwriting support

OneNote for Android now supports handwriting. So on the tablet, one can write and draw with a stylus (or fingers too). These notes are of course synced across all devices. Much like on the desktop version of OneNote, the inking works with images (for annotation) as well as for pure writing/drawing. For devices which come with active digitizer, the stylus can instantly invoke the inking mode so one can start writing/marking immediately.

Other features included are changing pen colors, as well as changing the paper style and color to make handwriting stand out even more.

OneNote for Android Drawing
OneNote for Android Drawing
OneNote for Android Inking
OneNote for Android Inking
OneNote for Android Annotations
OneNote for Android Annotations

Tablet support

The UI now supports a larger real estate on the screen. Much like the iPad and Windows Store versions, the Android tablet UI now shows a cascading list of notebooks, sections and pages with the selected page occupying much of the screen.

OneNote for Android Tablet UI
OneNote for Android Tablet UI

Ribbon for Android tablets

Similar to the iPad and Windows Store UI, the Android tablet UI now has the ribbon with several formatting options.

OneNote for Android Ribbon: Formatting
OneNote for Android Ribbon: Formatting
OneNote for Android Ribbon
OneNote for Android Ribbon


A quick video overview of the new OneNote:

Given that Android apps normally stretch to fill a larger screen, it is commendable that the OneNote team did not rely on that, but instead chose to build a separate UI for larger screens. It is also nice to see inking support in OneNote, and like the blog post says, it is directed towards the students going to or returning back to school.

Surface with Windows RT: Likes

After an agonizing wait, I finally got a chance to play with my new Surface with Windows RT, or as I will call it for sanity’s sake, Surface RT or simply, Surface. It has been a few days, and I thought instead of writing a full-fledged review, I’d focus on some key likes and a long list of dislikes. Nits that I picked. I discuss the likes here, and dislikes in a second post.

Surface RT

Overall, I really like the device. I was determined to evaluate its use as an iPad replacement in my house. To be clear, in our house, the iPad is used for Facebook, Twitter, web browsing (between my wife and I), and some Netflix/PBS Kids/kid games (our kids, 4 and 6 years old). We are not using the iPad as a computer, or a “creation device”. It is a pure consumption device, unless you call writing a tweet, “creation”.

In that use case, the Surface has ably fit in place of the iPad for the kids. The kids have enough games that they know of, and enough games that are new, that they actually like using the Surface. My wife has not used it much, but that is because at this point of time, she considers the Surface “my baby” so she is almost afraid to some extent, of using it. However, it is only a matter of time :-)

Last night, I saw my kids fight to get to use the Surface. Mind you, we got our second iPad 2 just so they can both have their own. So, despite having two iPads, they preferred to use the Surface. Granted, it could be a novelty thing, but still, it bodes well for me that they are actually liking the device with all its oddities, like the 16:9 aspect ratio.

I replaced my iPad too, almost

As for me, the Surface has almost replaced the iPad. The big gap at this point? Twitter app! I like Tweetro, but because of their recent issue with API token limit, I was unable to sign in on the Surface despite having used it (extensively) on my Windows 8 desktop. The other two big names, Rowi and MetroTwit are both far behind what I would call a basic Twitter experience, so to me they are unusable. I am forced to use the People app and Twitter website meanwhile, and that makes for a highly sub-optimal experience for a “power user” like yours truly.

The other small issue which makes me use the iPad when the PC is not being used, is access to my work email and calendar. My work has an app which allows me to access Exchange with native iOS mail, calendar and reminders apps. They haven’t yet provisioned it for Windows 8/RT.

Besides those two missing pieces, I am extremely happy with the device. I haven’t yet experienced some of the performance issues that many others have experienced, nor have I found any major app missing. It is thin enough, and light enough for me to use it like I used my iPad. (Important to note, my iPad has a strong Speck case which makes the iPad feel heavier.)

Windows 8 (and Windows RT)

Some part of why I like the Surface so much is due to Windows 8. For example, all my settings including my lock screen image, theme, pinned websites, favorites, web history, etc. automatically came through as I signed in with my Microsoft account. This is because I had set up my account and settings on my desktop PC earlier and set it up so all those settings were synced across devices via the cloud.

Also, thanks to Xbox Music Match, a service that is yet to officially roll out but works anyway, all my music was available on the Surface as soon as I signed in with my Microsoft account. This includes some playlists I created just the day before. Again, this is because my music was matched from my desktop PC (which in turn is connected to my home server where all my music, photos and videos are stored). In addition, I was able to impress some of my family members by searching for and playing a bunch of songs on-demand via the Xbox Music subscription service. While I have the Xbox Music Pass, the unlimited streaming (with some, ahem, limits) is automatically included with all Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

The last thing I want to mention why I love the Surface and why I replaced my iPad with it? Office. I use Excel and Word in addition to OneNote, for various purposes. Things like tracking expenses, creating birthday lists, sending formal letters, etc. are all done on Excel, Word and OneNote. Having “real” Office on my tablet with a constant sync to SkyDrive (which allows me to collaborate with my wife for some of those items) is a huge benefit. Not what I would call the #1 reason to buy a Surface, but definitely a huge plus when considering a Surface over an iPad.

Suffice to say, I really like my Surface. I think it is money well spent, for my use of such a device. Having said that, there are issues I have with the device and I list them in my next post.

Microsoft Launches OneNote For iPhone and iPad; 30th Most Popular Free App

Looks like Microsoft is getting serious about shipping their office suite of products to , and users with the launch of the OneNote app for iPhone today.

OneNote iPhone

OneNote is a note-taking software which is part of the suite. OneNote was already available for the Windows Phone 7 platform and is now available for the iPhone too.

OneNote Top 30 Free App

The OneNote app for iPhone has quickly jumped the ranks and is now the 30th most popular free app on the App Store. The app says that is free for limited time only. The other most popular note-taking app for iPhone has been the Evernote, however, OneNote definitely seems to have the edge over it.

Both the iPhone and iPad are yet to see any significant office suites except for maybe Quick Office. Microsoft’s entry into the iOS for office space will definitely give them a wider range of mobile users who prefer to do their office related work on the go. Though there is no indication whether this will lead to an office suite for iPhone, the instant success of the OneNote app might definitely prompt Microsoft to work towards creating one.

OneNote is free for a limited period only. You can download the OneNote app for your iDevice from here.

Evernote 4 for Windows Updated, Adds OneNote Import Support

Evernote 4 for Windows has been updated and it adds quite a few new exciting features. First off, it now has improvised search where keywords are highlighted within the notes. Secondly, they have added a new feature which will allow you to import notes for OneNote 2007 and OneNote 2010 and the ability to export your notes as a MHT files.


Evernote has been one of my must-have software on most of the devices I use. It has definitely become useful with the new updates it has brought. An update to Evernote 4 is now available and it adds a few exciting features including highlight search results.

In addition to that, you can now easily import notes from OneNote 2007 or 2010 into Evernote. Earlier, this was quite a painful experience. Evernote 4 also adds an option to export your notes as a MHT file. There has also been enhancements in note editing with improved copy paste, support for Asian characters, easier entry of geo-location information and more.

If you are already using Evernote 4, choose the check for updates to upgrade to the latest version or download Evernote 4 from here. More at the Evernote blog.