Microsoft launches OneNote for Mac, brings new features to note-taking service


Microsoft is launching some significant changes to its OneNote apps and service today. The software maker originally released its note-taking app more than 10 years ago, but it has largely been limited to Microsoft’s Windows platforms. That’s changing today with the addition of the OneNote for Mac application, available for free from the App Store. Like the Windows equivalent, OneNote for Mac includes the collapsible ribbon interface and the same note-taking functionality.

Visually, there are only subtle differences between the Windows and Mac versions, and it’s likely that a similar style will make its way to the upcoming Office for Mac release due later this year. While the Mac version of OneNote is being released for free, Microsoft isn’t leaving Windows users behind. OneNote for Windows is also going free today, meaning the service is available at no charge across PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and the web. Microsoft will continue to charge for premium features like SharePoint support, version history, and Outlook integration, but all the core features are free.

New clipping feature, and third-party apps

Alongside the Mac release, Microsoft is also unveiling a new cloud API to let third-party developers integrate OneNote clipping and sharing into their apps. Microsoft is taking advantage of this functionality immediately by launching a new OneNote Clipper feature that lets you save webpages to OneNotes from a browser. It's very similar to Evernote's own clipper, with support for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all available, and you can even email web links or just notes to me@onenote.com. Microsoft is also launching Office Lens for Windows Phone today, an app that will take a picture of a whiteboard, document, or business card and enhance it for viewing, while automatically recognizing the text for OneNote entries.

OneNote’s partner apps include support from Feedly, IFTTT, News360, Weave, JotNot, and Genius Scan. Microsoft has also worked with printer makers Brother and Epson to include support for OneNote on some devices, and smartpen maker Livescribe to let you write notes with a pen and paper and send them to OneNote. Other apps will be made available over the course of the year, and Microsoft is encouraging developers to create apps with the launch of a new developer portal.

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