Microsoft makes an Android Wear app for OneNote

android wear onenote
Credit: Jared Newman

Microsoft is showing a newfound appreciation for Android with a version of its OneNote productivity app for Android Wear smartwatches.

Users can install the OneNote for Android Wear app, and then use the “take a note” voice command to dictate text notes. The note then syncs online for access from any device.

OneNote's Android Wear support is bare-bones compared to other note-taking apps, such as Google Keep and Evernote. You can't use it for time- or location-based reminders, and you can't open existing notes on the watch itself. Still, if you're already hooked into Microsoft's platform, the smartwatch app is helpful for logging a quick thought without taking out your phone.

onenoteandroidwear Microsoft

I gave the app a try on a Moto 360, and it works as advertised. If you have other note-taking apps installed, the watch will prompt you to choose a default app for voice dictation, but you won't be prompted again after you've selected OneNote from the list. (You can change the default for note-taking through the Android Wear smartphone app.)

My only nitpick is that Microsoft created a separate app for Android Wear instead of building smartwatch support into the main OneNote app. It doesn't make much practical difference, but the beauty of Android Wear is that users shouldn't have to install and manage a second set of apps just for the watch. In theory, once there's a critical mass of developer support, everything should just work with the apps you already have on your phone.

Hopefully, that's a point Microsoft will grasp as it continues to warm up to Android. In addition to the new Android Wear app, Microsoft has also recently launched an Outlook Web App for Android, an Android tablet version of OneNote with handwriting support, and business partition support for OneDrive .

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