No the heading isn’t wrong OneNote has come to the iPhone.  Just like the Bing app, the OneNote app brings the Microsoft goodness to us iPhone users.  Let it be known that you must have or create a Live ID in order to use OneNote.  You can also sync your desktop OneNotes with your Live ID and Skydrive for a great and free sync solution.  At the time of this writing it is also stated on the iTunes page that the app is free for a Limited Time, so I suggest hopping on this one quickly in order to save some cash, for let’s say beer.  (Or Cap n’ for DSmith) 

Of course there are some little hiccups to this version 1 app.  Currently there are issues logging in for users, which I have also experienced.  Fear not the MS team are looking into the issue.  It took me about 40 tries to get logged in so keep trying.  Also some of my Note books are not showing tables with images properly instead it’s showing [table] tag.  So it seems like some parsing errors.  But again it is to be expected in a version 1 product.  The Bing app wasn’t perfect when it came out either. 

I am switching to OneNote after having used Evernote for a few months now.  I was able to switch my existing Evernote’s over to OneNote by using the Ever2One Converter

So if you have used the iPhone version of OneNote:

  • Have you been able to log in yet?
  • What do you think of the usability?
  • What is your note taking app of choice and how does it compare?

Please leave us a line in the comments with those answers, we want to hear from you folks.


  1. Ah, so the other Steve is taking a page from SteveJ’s playbook. Nice. Get all the iPhone users to setup Windows Live ID’s and SkyDrive accounts. The next natural progression would be to give Windows Phone a try. Maybe they should work on a Zune app next.

    Devious motives aside, OneNote is a great application. Glad iPhone is getting a chance to play with it.

  2. James, can you tell me how your initial sync with Skydrive went? On WP7 its a convoluted process, in my case the only way OneNote on my phone sees the notebooks on Skydrive is to email myself a link, then it opens in the WP7 client. Thanks.

  3. @efjay: I first set up OneNote on my desktop to Share my Note books with my live id which added them to SkyDrive and then all I had to do was log in on the iPhone app and poof after the sync everything was there and accessible. This was however after I had to log in over 40 times before I would authenticate. I’m sorry there is an extra step in your process, I’m willing to bet that the Windows Phone team are working on that issue.

  4. @efjay: Just an FYI. The first time I synced my notebook w/WP7 things did not work that well and I had to open SkyDrive to force a sync. Since then it has been working fine. I don’t have to do anything. Sometimes when I open OneNote on my phone I have to wait a few seconds for it to update but otherwise the info is there. I did read somewhere that you “cannot” change the name of the file, “Personal (Web)”, that WP7 creates. Not sure if that is your problem.

  5. @jimski:

    Thanks for the reply James. jimski the point is as I thought syncing with the iphone is as simple as logging in, on WP7 it does not work that way for the first sync. I’ve had my Dell since December and even though I had used OneNote it had never synced with Skydrive, I had to email myself a link before it would sync. Just typical Microsoft, they really are the most useless software company on the planet.

  6. @efjay: I didn’t have to email anything. Maybe I was just impatient on the first try. So rather than waiting around for an hour I opened SkyDrive. After I did that, the stuff I updated on my desktop synced with SkyDrive and the stuff on SkyDrive synced with WP7. Since then, I am pleasantly surprised when I open OneNote on my phone and find everything there. As I said, sometimes it takes a few seconds but it knows what to do without any prodding from me. Since that first day I have not even looked at the file I am syncing on SkyDrive.

    And I presume you turned Automatic Sync to Yes on your device and tapped Sync after tapping All. Just following the directions. BTW, without Microsoft you probably wouldn’t be writing in this blog tonight. Or you may, but you would need a different OS or browser to write in another. But that’s OK, you can always get an Andorid and use their top notch stuff, after you supply your DOB, address and SS number. Oh never mind. They already have all that.

  7. @jimski:

    Please dont presume that I have, want or will ever use android. Its precisely because I use Microsoft products and WP7 in this case that pisses me off when MS provides a better experience on a competitors platform than their own. I had WM since 2005, and nothing remotely interested me till WP7. I remember when MS first mentioned Live Anywhere and was excited, thinking that would come to WM. I remember Flash being announced and looking forward to it coming to WM, and it didnt. IE was supposed to be improved and avaialble as an update, but I had to buy a new device and still didnt get beyond WM 6.5, no 6.5.3 update for me.

    I have had the HD7 ( POS) and now the Dell Venue Pro (rapidly approaching POS status). Neither of these devices automatically synced my OneNote files on Skydrive and all sync options were enabled, my correct live ID signed in. The backstage forum had numerous posters who couldnt get it to work without some kind of workaround. To hear that the iphone syncs without having to to anything other than sign in to your live ID is just another big FU from MS to its mobile OS users, who have to scour forums to find out how to sync their devices. WP7 is a great OS, but MS the company deserves to fail in the mobile space because they have their priorities backwards. bing, MSN, free games, all released on the iphone in recent months while WP7 users have to tiptoe around the marketplace lest it crash or cross our fingers when we attempt to connect to BT car kits. MS is not focused around WP7 though they claim they are, and ultimately the fast pace of android advancement and the cult status of the iphone will relagate WP7 to a niche OS, and that is a fate brought about by MS themselves.

  8. @efjay: Sorry to assume, and offend. Hope you find a device that works out for you. I knowe Microsoft is not perfect (far from it) but I have sort of learned to grin and bear it over the years. Just hate thinking about the alternative.

  9. Ya… Although the iphone onenote app took 18-24 months before it was released, it is still somewhat disappointing to have the wp7 version having less features. I had a hard time sync onenote to my wp7, and seeing the iphone version supporting notebooks while the wp7 version supoorts pages only is really wtf… seems like MS is very badly managed… pls step up ur game, else I’ll just get iphone rather than taking this kind of risk with wp7…

  10. @Ron: WP7 “does” support Notebooks. I have three of them, with multiple pages in each. The iOS version “looks” pretty, but what would you expect. From what I can see though, they both appear to work about the same.

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