Google Docs on Android is, to put it politely, crap. While the app was recently updated with a nice tablet interface for viewing documents, editing them has always been kind of a pain, and ugly to boot. Microsoft is stepping up to save the day with their simple, elegant OneNote app for Android. Because screw your expectations.

onenote1 onenote2 onenote3

The only downside seems to be that if you already have .one files on your Android device, OneNote won't read them. Disappointing for already-avid users, but for the rest of us, OneNote will act very similarly to Google Docs by syncing with your SkyDrive account automatically. Any notes you've already stored will appear, and you can access your mobile notes from your desktop.

OneNote isn't a full-blown document-editing suite. For tasks that you'd want to accomplish on a phone, however, it is remarkably simple. Beautiful, even. Photos can be added from the gallery or the camera, you can easily add bullet points or checklists, and text is rich. Not to mention, in stark contrast to Google's own offerings, you are not required to load up an embedded web app to edit documents. So that, alone, gives Microsoft's entrant a leg up.

OneNote is free in the Android Market right now. You're limited to 500 notes on your SkyDrive, but you can pay $5 to remove this limit via an in-app purchase.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • W

    Needs a nice widget, then it would be amazing

  • http://www.twitter.com/Morenicano Morenicano

    ABOUT EFFIN TIME!!!!!! YES!!!!!!

  • Tyler Brainerd

    Would this be worth switching to for any reason from evernote, or is it essentially if your a user already?

    • DroidBurgundy

      I want to know this as well, I was so tired of using 3rd party app for my one note files, so I recemtly said screw it and converted to evernote, and have actually found it quite usable although onenote was my favorite for years. How does this app compare to evernote?

      • Senectus

        For the most part EverNote Craps all over this product..
        In an enterprise environment its not bad but...

        • sriracha

          i had the same question regarding OneNote v. Evernote. i'm an avid user of Evernote, but i'm always open to new ideas.

          anybody else have .02 to throw in on a comparison? actually scratch that.. 500 notes? i'd be out of free space real quick. thanks, no comparo needed.

  • efy

    evernote is useless is you do not have a internet connection ab want to do a search. It will only bring up the subject line,all your motes,measurement and the reason you have it are unobtainable until you finds wi-fi or your internet connection. It also always looks for a connection, when #1 you know you arent in zone and all you want to do is write a short to-do note. I can have the note written and on my way using notepad, and evernote will still be looking for a web connection. I have 16gig sd cards, so there is plenty of room to dl all of my 2 years of text notes. i doubt i have 1 gig of total evernote data,since it is mainly text.
    maybe one-note will be it, or springpad. Or there are quite a few competitors that will overcome evernotes fails. It was great in the beginning, but when i found i was in a store and needed my measurement for the apartment, i could get zero info,beside the title . it is like a gps that only works when it has a internet connection, and you have room for multi state storage.

    • sriracha

      not sure i fully understand your comment, but my Evernotes are stored locally on my device and synced between my PC and device. i can get them 24/7, inside, outside, upside-down, with no troubles.

      • randomchars

        Offline access is a premium only feature.

        • sriracha

          i guess i'm just lucky then. i do not have the premium version of Evernote, yet everything is still stored locally on my device, and on my PC. never look a gift horse in the mouth, i suppose.

          thanks for the reply.

        • Adam

          Since when? I've never had a premium account, and all of my Evernote notes are stored locally on my Mac and synced with EN online.

        • DCMAKER

          same here i got a basic account and all mine are stored locally

  • Alex

    I guess if you are in a professional environment OneNote is a better option than Evernote since it provides integration with Office products through the desktop application.

    As for a random user who just need to save a couple of notes from time to time I think it won't matter what notes app you pick. Just go with the one it pleases your eye better.

  • jordanjay29

    No support for drawn input like on PC? Nope, uninstall.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    Would never pay a $5 in app purchase for this. OneNote Pro or nothing. It's BS to make me pay $5 then charge me again next time.
    Also, it looks pretty bad on a tablet... would be much better on a tablet than a phone. Not as bad as some apps, but it could be better.

  • http://www.netmystore.com Sumant

    It's not compatible with my Dell Streak 5 - Android 2.2.2 :|

  • DroidBurgundy

    Tried it, uninstalled.... I much prefer Evernote but ONLY because I have so many notes, and reallly enjoy the open source client NixNote for both Windows and Linux, so its a win win for me. Either way this release is huge, and long overdue. I have considered paying for premium Evernote features, but I have yet to ever find myself in a situation where I had absolutely no signal or wifi available. I also like the feature on evernote that I can email things and import them to evernote.

  • Ray

    Is there a way to get the desktop version to sync with MS Live? I see sync options, but nothing about Live.

    • Adam

      Yes, I just did. If using OneNote 2010, simply choose the sync with the web option for your notebook(s).

      • Ray

        Ahh, that explains it, I have OneNote 2007. Thanks.

  • Adam

    If you already use OneNote, this app is a godsend. For me, comparing it with Evernote is a moot point, since I use OneNote in a very specific application (thesis work--great for screencaps, outlines, organization, etc.).

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