As has been covered many times previously on ToW, the OneNote app has a lot of fans who love the product and use a lot of its features, especially when it’s used in the Classroom. Defectors to other platforms sometimes bemoan the lack of OneNote (or a decent alternative) as a hurdle in using their chosen environment.
Talking about OneNote can be confusing, though, as there are the two PC versions – OneNote 2016, the Win32 app that’s evolved ever since the first version shipped as part of Office 2003, and the shiny new codebase that is OneNote for Windows 10, the Store app which also shares a lot of its UX with the Mac, mobile and web versions. Differences are explained here.
Major users of OneNote may have noticed that over the last couple of years, the traditional Windows app hasn’t received a whole lot of new functionality, but the Store version has had regular updates with extra features… though it is a much simpler app anyway, so there’s more to improve. The
Recently, the OneNote team announced that there will be no further development of the traditional OneNote 2016 application, and that it won’t be installed by default in the next iteration of Office (though it will still be available as an option, in case you can’t live without it).
New features are planned for the Store version – like support for tags, and what looks to be a tweak to the search experience, which will provide additional search refinements. Whether it’s as good as the somewhat obscure but quite powerful Search capability in the 2016 app remains to be seen.
To get the latest version of the OneNote app, first check it’s up to date, or join the Office Insiders program. Windows Insiders also get early access to OneNote versions, and there’s an Experimental Features option (in the ellipsis “···” Settings & More menu, Options).
Paul Thurrott – an unashamed fan of the OneNote for Windows 10 app, preferring it to its elder sibling – also reported on the news. Paul points out that the UWP version has better support for ink, that syncing is faster, performance is better etc. Tech Republic has some further commentary too.
To keep up with other news on OneNote, you could do well to follow William Devereux from the OneNote team on Twitter, as recommended by Windows Central’s “50 influencers” article.