Microsoft has just announced major upgrades for OneNote for Mac and iOS. They're interesting upgrades and point to a future where Microsoft works on cross-platform development, offering everyone access to everything.
It’s a great vision. And while Microsoft is making progress, it is still far from reality. While upgrades and access to OneNote will be a major plus for users, there’s still nothing for Office for Mac.
According to a blog post from the OneNote team, the idea is to make OneNote available for everyone on ever platform with equal functionality. To do this, Microsoft is offering four significant improvements. First, Apple users can access notes stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online from Macs and iPads.
They can also open Office files wherever they are stored and insert them into OneNote documents, and benefit from improved password security as well as better content capture and collaboration.
Microsoft OneNote offers users free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It was released initially in 2003 and finally came to Mac last March because of what Microsoft described as enormous demand.
With it, users can gather notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries and then share all of those with other OneNote users.
Microsoft also made it a lot more attractive by making it free as well as providing a cloud API, which made it easier to connect it other applications and pull in the information from those applications.
OneNote for Mac
Now Microsoft has announced better Mac functionality. The result is that users can now open, sync and create personal or shared project on OneDrive for Business and Office 365, as well as sign in with your organizational account once OneNote is open.
Probably the most useful upgrade is the new ability to insert files, including PDFs. It also allows users to drag and drop a PowerPoint deck or a Word document into notes as an attachment and then view it in the OS built-in, Quick Look, or in the app itself.
The upgrades also enable users to password protect notes, rearrange notes, email notes in the body of email — not just as attachments —, copy and paste content and do pretty much anything else you can do in the Windows version.
Office for Mac?
The upgrades make OneNote for Mac something Mac users might actually want to use. The March release was noted for its lack of functionality and this, along with upgrades in May, goes some of the way towards fixing that. It also follows on the heels of the release of Office for iPad and the Enterprise Mobility Suite.
More importantly, though, it shows that Microsoft can now respond quickly and in an agile manner to users demand. These upgrades were introduced because users weren’t happy about the March release.
But Microsoft has yet to announce plans for Office for Mac or explain when it might upgrade the suite in its entirety. At the moment, Mac users still have to use Office 2011, which is now four years old.
Yes, upgrades to OneNote are good, but upgrades to Office for Mac would be better.