Microsoft isn't really known for designing great apps for Android, but whoever is in charge of the OneNote app is going above and beyond. The UI has been cleaned up dramatically recently and the newest update includes some solid feature additions. This could be – dare I say it – a good Microsoft app on Android.

1 2 3

Here's the full changelog from Redmond:

  • Share web content, articles, images, videos, and files with OneNote
  • Get to your most recent notes right from your phone’s Home screen with the OneNote Recent widget
  • Add your favorite page, section, or notebook to the Home screen for quick access
  • Multitask with OneNote in multi-window mode
  • See improvements with rendering and keyboard input issues

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The sharing referred to in the changelog is actually integration with Android sharing intents. So in any app that has the native sharing menu, you can add content directly to OneNote. Whatever you have in OneNote will be easier to access now with home screen shortcuts to any individual note or notebook. There's also a widget for quickly adding notes. Users of Samsung devices will be happy to see full support for Multi Window Mode in this update too.

If you're deeply into the Microsoft ecosystem at home or work, OneNote seems like a solid note taking option.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • testmang

    Anything with Microsoft in it I skip them. I was a hard core MS fan a year ago

    • alexxx

      We do have our personal reasons, but please don't let the past stop you from having SkyDrive for instance, or OneNote, it just never fails like the competition -Google, Dropbox, Evernote-they are all amatures compared to MS sync experience. Just go with the wind, because you never know who's gonna outdo who !

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        I'd agree apart from the skydrive windows 8.1 fail... it seriously doesn't seem to work as it should across all 3 of my laptops and my friends' tablet and laptop aswell :/. It worked great in win 8 though and across all my other devices.

        • alexxx

          Wow, are you serious? that really sux! I'd be furious, I'm atm shuffling around with my one notes and some docs between outlook emails and one note, as skydrive is used to pretty much back all that I'm doing, I'd freak out if it failed for me. Running Win 7. Solid reliable product is never the newest one, unfortunately. Hope Google or someone else can back you instead. How long has this glitching been going on for you?

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            It's actually just when you try to access a file that is "online"... instead of downloading it and then letting a program open it, it opens for example adobe reader and then attempts to download the file. In the mean time adobe reader has long since thrown an error message that the file is corrupted or invalid :/. Happens in the ModernUI aswell as Desktop Mode.

            Has been happening since the update to windows 8.1, really weird error. Doesn't really matter to me though as I only have pictures stored on skydrive, I use google drive for all my documents because MS office online's collaboration just still isn't stellar :/

          • alexxx

            Really? that also sucks. I've encountered this issue with SkyDrive on Android as well, but it isn't just SkyDrive that's glitching there. It's as if the cache is not accessible by the local app, it seems like an over-protective glitch, and to overcome it is to download the PDF or file in question locally, then access it. This doesn't help making sync easy, but the FLAW is not absolute. It happens now and then, I hope it get's polished out, I think Android needs to handle all cache. On desktop, this manifests as more of a security redundancy, although it has been there in windows, for ages. Ex, not being able to install from zip, or Run as Admin, and similar krap. It's like the cache is under some quarantine and not accessible. I dunno, I'm not a dev, just use these apps alot, my most severe glitch is the Google Drive /Docs that can NEVER save changes when doc edited on mobile, it has Save and Save As, and error I get is Insufficient storage, but my GDrive is almost empty. I can't fix this...

  • anzensepp1987

    For me all Microsoft-Apps on Android are pretty solid. I use SkyDive, Outlook and OneNote quite often and there's no problem with these apps. In my opinion Microsoft is to blame for a lot of things, but not for their Android-Apps.
    (Especially when you think about the enormous amount of Google-Apps on WP...)

    • alexxx

      Oh yea the most stable cloud storage with flawless sync goes to SkyDrive, period. Microsoft is solid there, and it's the only way for me. I've gotten burned way too many times with TERRIBLE dropbox and gdrive failures.

  • alexxx

    Yesss, ohhh, any change is welcome!:-) I depend on OneNote like oxygen, for my biz and I use it a lot on mobile. Real jealous of iOS efforts, but I do have an iPad mini, OneNote for iOS is...a full fledged Windows version! Blows my mind. Im glad Android version is receiving some love too! Thanks!

  • yieldway17

    I don't know what your problems are with MS apps on Android but for me Outlook and Skydrive is stable and works well. Of course, there can be more features in Skydrive (auto picture upload knock knock) but otherwise they are pretty solid.

  • falter

    Still no way to add a onenote document stored on SharePoint like you can with the iOS app. With android you can add a SharePoint location by opening a URL (eg onenote:http://SharePoint.domain.com/document), and it will prompt for credentials, however after a short time it forgets the credentials and you have no way to input them again, thus rendering it useless.

    Great app if you're using skydrive though!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Microsoft has so many divisions, which I'm sure all have different teams making Android apps, that it's hard to judge the whole company as a whole by the apps they make. Some are actually pretty great, but some are outright terrible https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Microsoft+Corporation

    For example, the RDP app is awesome. Here are some good ones:
    - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.rdc.android
    - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.xboxone.smartglass
    - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.lync15
    - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

  • black

    I don't know of anyone who uses OneNote on a computer. I bet I'll get to know of even less people who use it on Android.

  • dg

    I still have no idea what OneNote does. If its for note taking, why not use Word, Wordpad, Notepad or Stick Notes on PC?

  • CBNforum

    I love this app, it's been my primary note taking app for a while.

  • Adrian

    Dont open the encrypted notes.

  • Ap

    Wish they added handwriting ability to notes.

  • gonesimera

    I used to use OneNote all the time on PC and cell phone, but as OneNote is no longer compatible on my cell phone (Gingerbread 2.3) I have switched over to evernote.