It finally came; and by it, I mean Microsoft OneNote Mobile for Android. You can download your copy from the Android Market here. I’ll let Ben Schorr rave the praises of OneNote, but needless to say, lawyers will be hard-pressed to find a better note-taking system (sure Evernote is cool, but tabbed notes and notebooks are so much better).

This is the long-awaited (some say too long) app from Microsoft designed to compete in the Android universe. The app features sync of up to 500 notes (free; unlimited for paid), allows you to take photos, make checkbox notes, add tags, and draw tables, among other things. Unfortunately, as some of the reviews point out, there’s no way to add audio notes, move to SD card, and the UI on tablets is to be desired (the app doesn’t even work on my tablet running Brilliant Corners ROM).

Fortunately though, OneNote Mobile is pretty straight forward, but you’ll need a Windows Live account. I suggest signing up for Windows Live from your desktop, and not your device. Some of the input fields are all jacked up, including the phone field that totally messed up my mobile number:

Then, after the Hebrew Captcha characters, I thought, “this is going to be a disaster.” Fortunately, signup using the desktop was much easier. Use your desktop to create a Windows Live account.

The interface is simple and easy to use. Notebooks are stored on a homepage screen that is clean and organized.

The auto-sync feature is really nice, which saves you from having to remember to sync your notes. Adding notes or notebooks is easy too.

Overall, the most disappointing feature was the picture capture. You’ll see it’s just pathetic. Although I haven’t tested it’s output on the desktop yet, I suspect that “crap in equals crap out.”
Some might suggest that my picture was blurry to start. I thought that, but in portrait mode, there’s no fixing the problem. I did gain a better clip of the picture in landscape, but it’s too small to make any real use use. I suspect the “big screen” version would be better.
Aside from my small complaints (see above and the Android Market reviews), and the fact I have to go over to Microsoft to make this useful, I think OneNote Mobile is a good first attempt. However, I’m also quite certain that since this is an extremely late entry by Microsoft, many attorneys like me, adapted their mobile lifestyle more to Evernote or similar note-storing Android apps. Once again, Microsoft dropped the mobile ball.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

6 Comments

The Droid Lawyer™ | Back to School: Android Apps for Law Students · August 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm

[…] app is a take your pick kind of app. While I prefer Evernote for note-taking, OneNote Mobile (see my review) has a special place in my heart for its organization, simplicity, and ease-of-use. For sure, if […]

The Droid Lawyer™ | Weekly News Round-up: What You May Have Missed in the World of Android · October 12, 2012 at 6:12 am

[…] light of the many great Office apps for Android already. In the same sense, leave it to MS to come floundering to the innovation table so late. My question is, why […]

5 Reasons OneNote is Perfect for Lawyers · March 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

[…] what if you want to be able to add or search notes at home or on a mobile device? Depending on what your security requirements are, you can either stash the notebook in the cloud […]

Google Keep Looks to Replace Evernote | The Droid Lawyer™ · March 18, 2013 at 6:16 am

[…] a substantial concern about storing any private materials on Drive, but I also think this is like Microsoft’s OneNote introduction: too late. What do you think? Will you move to Keep if it’s as “meaty” as […]

Android Apps for Easy Note-Taking and Dictation - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work · June 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

[…] OneNote is a newcomer to the Android note-taking field, and like its PC-based parent, I predict the app will be a valuable tool to those who use the desktop version. I like OneNote for its features, though I tend to use Evernote more because of its cross-platform capabilities (yes, OneNote has that too, finally), because I’m more heavily committed to the Evernote platform. (See my OneNote review here.) […]

5 Reasons OneNote is Perfect for Lawyers · August 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

[…] what if you want to be able to add or search notes at home or on a mobile device? Depending on what your security requirements are, you can either stash the notebook in the cloud […]

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