Skip to main content

Using Microsoft OneNote on different platforms just got a whole lot easier

Note-taking made easier for everyone—Introducing the redesigned OneNote (with audio descriptions)
Microsoft OneNote is one of the best note-taking apps around, offering the ability to type, speak, or ink notes across a variety of platforms. Whether you’re running Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, or Android, there is a solid OneNote app available that will leverage the strengths of each device.

So far, however, while OneNote has been quite functional on each platform, it has suffered from a distinct look and feel that can make switching devices a bit jarring. Microsoft is fixing that discrepancy, meaning that if you use the app on different platforms then you should feel more at home on each.

The first big change that will be rolling out over the coming weeks, at least those for Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, and Android, is a much more consistent user interface that provides the same basic notebook, section, and page layout. Navigating through a notebook will now become second nature on most devices, with the desktop version of OneNote included with Office 2016 being the primary outlier.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The navigation is not only more consistent across devices, it has also been simplified. Namely, all navigation controls are now located on the left-hand side of the app, which makes it easier to move between notes and helps with assistive technologies.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Speaking of enhanced usability for people who need assistance, Microsoft has focused on that aspect of OneNote as well. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it, “We will focus on designing and building products that our customers love and that are accessible to everyone and built for each of us.” Microsoft shared a video highlighting the ability for users with disabilities be able to navigate through OneNote using only keyboard shortcuts.

You can get the app for Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, and Android. If you have any suggestions for Microsoft, then visit the OneNote UserVoice, and you can get help at

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Microsoft Defender finally feels like proper antivirus software for individuals
The Windows Security app in Windows 11.

With password attacks and ransomware on the rise, Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft Defender for individuals, a premium, cross-platform, consumer security application for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac.

Available for paid Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers, this new security offering from Microsoft is the latest step in a journey to bring its security features to all of its users. Building on what's been done with the Windows Security app on Windows, Microsoft Defender for individuals will bring together multiple protections into a single online dashboard.

Read more
The best note-taking apps for iOS and Android
best note-taking apps 2

Taking notes with your phone or tablet is a convenient way of staying organized. You can use your device to create to-do lists, keep track of important appointments, or even take notes during classes and meetings.

Apps like Bear, SimpleNote, Quip, and others allow you to write, draw, share your notes, and add files to your notes. Choosing the right app to take notes on the go will ensure you never fail to record anything important. We've picked some of the best note-taking apps available.

Read more
Playing iOS games on the Mac just got a lot easier
The 13-inch MacBook Pro, viewed at an angle from the back.

If you have a Mac with an M1 chip, you can run iPhone and iPad apps and games right on your Mac. Apple has been steadily adding more capabilities to this feature, but the latest MacOS 11.3 update brings with it one of the most welcome changes yet.

Now, game controller buttons are mapped directly to keys on your keyboard and (optionally) your mouse. That means any iPadOS or iOS game that has been optimized for a controller will now play nice with your keyboard. For instance, with Apple’s new Controller Emulation feature, the W, A, S, and D keys swivel the left thumb stick, the space bar is the A button, and Tab is L1.

Read more