updated 01:50 pm EST, Tue January 18, 2011
Microsoft intros OneNote Mobile for iPhone
Microsoft put out its first full productivity app for the iPhone on Tuesday with the launch of OneNote for iOS (free, App Store). The previously Office-only notebook organizer app comes with many and in some cases more features than the Windows Phone 7 version. The iPhone app can not only produce notes but attach links and photos. Checklists and To Do lists are automatically formatted to let users mark items done on the spot.
Like other versions, it will sync with a free SkyDrive web account to keep updates current. Notes created in OneNote on another platform, including on the web, will open properly on the iPhone and can sync back without losing their formatting. Custom section colors do require making changes in the Windows app.
The app is currently available only in the US but is available for free for a "limited time." Microsoft didn't discuss international releases or how much it would cost as a paid app. Versions for the iPad, Android or other platforms are still unknowns.
Microsoft has already released apps for the iPhone before, including its Bing search and Tag Reader apps, but until now it has never offered an app that wasn't already intended to be cross-platform. It has usually tried to reserve Office apps for its own platform as selling points, such as on Windows Phone 7. An iOS app is a partial admission that competitors such as DataViz's Documents To Go have rendered the advantage obsolete and that official ports could encourage the use of Office on the desktop or in the cloud.