MobileNoter in Review – The power of MS OneNote at your fingertips

Some users may have missed it, but with MS Office 2007 and later, a clever little program called Microsoft OneNote piggybacks on the office suite. It’s an advanced and extensive notebook software that allows you to easily keep all of your notes in one place. And the best thing is that unlike the notes section built-in to Outlook, it can handle formatted text, images, links, etc. You can easily make different notebooks, password protect them, categorise them and more. Why am I writing all of this? Well, now you can get all of that information on your iPhone! Almost at least… Introducing – MobileNoter…

MobileNoter seems to be a common note taking app, just like any other. It can only handle plain text (for now at least) and isn’t too rich with features. Barring the main one – it can sync over the cloud or over Wi-Fi with your MS OneNote notebooks!

Ok, as I said – if you add notes on the iPhone you can only do it in plain text. But if you open a synced OneNote notebook you’ll be relieved to see that it has been transferred with meticulous care, complete with formatting and images. But it’s Read-only – at least for now. And remember, all of your notes jotted down on the phone are also synced back to the desktop and put into Unfiled notes for you to do with them as you please.

MobileNoter features two types of sync. The Cloud sync works by first uploading your OneNote notebooks to the MobileNoter servers and then using the “Sync” button in the iPhone app to get them downloaded. The Wi-Fi version works over the common local Wi-Fi network with your desktop PC and skips the server, doing the exchange directly. Both require a desktop component and an iPhone app specific to the type you are going to use. The Wi-Fi sync version is available for a one-time fee of $15. The Cloud version is subscription-based and costs $1.25 per month, amassing to the same $15 but for a year. The iPhone apps are free of charge.

The iPhone app interface is very nice and I was pleasantly surprised by its speed. Whether you’re jotting down a note, flipping the portrait/landscape or looking through the imported notebooks the performance of the app was excellent on my iPhone 3G. Where I was disappointed with the app is the amount of manual interactions required for the app to do the syncing. I was testing out the cloud version and you have to manually activate the sync both on the desktop and the iDevice. And with no indication of whether there are changes. I really feel the developer could monitor the last updated date at least and do the sync automatically for the desktop and inform you of updates on the iPhone.

MobileNoter is one of those niche apps. It can definitely be very useful to those using MS OneNote to its full potential, especially in daily work activities. The app works as advertised and with excellent speed and the devs are reportedly working on adding editing options to the imported notebooks with text formatting, images, etc. At the same time the price of Wi-Fi edition seems for to be excessive to the point of excluding it from a casual user’s shopping cart.

With this I declare MobileNoter officially touched!

App Summary
Title: MobileNoter Developer: Businessware Technologies Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free (Desktop version is paid or subscription based) App Size: 1.1 MB
  • Very nice interface
  • Works very fast
  • Correctly displays all OneNote formatting
  • Supports only plain text on new iPhone notes
  • Manual synchronization activation both on the desktop and the iDevice


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A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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