MSPowerUser reports that OneNote on Android will be getting improved search capabilities in the near future. This is great news since finding information on the go is easiest with robust search. More than once I’ve wasted time tapping through section and page trying to find something only to wind up frustrated.
The improvement of search on Android will be a big help for me when I use OneNote. Will it help you? Let me know in the comments below.
New features are coming to Outlook on Android so I wanted to take a minute to highlight the ones that have the biggest impact from a productivity perspective.
Sync Draft Folders
Now when you start an email on your mobile device you don’t have to finish it there. The Drafts folders will be synchronized so you can pick up where you left off on your Windows machine, Chromebook, iPad, or whatever you’re most comfortable with. This capability is a great way to take advantage of those small windows of time without having to inconvenience yourself later.
Office Lens in Outlook
Office Lens is the Microsoft application for capturing images, documents, and drawings from your mobile device. The addition of Office Lens support to Outlook cuts out unnecessary steps when sending images to others. Now rather than having to capture an image, create a draft, and then go back and find your image to attach it you’ll be able to add the image right from your draft email.
I’m speculating on this next part but it would make perfect sense that the images would sync in your draft folder as mentioned previously. If so this could be a bigger feature than expected.
A feature that has received positive reviews on Google applications is coming to Outlook on Android. You’ll now be able to reply to emails with smart responses from a single button providing an experience more akin to chat than email. I use Quick Reply on a few of my apps and when I do it’s been fairly useful. We’ll keep an eye on how this feature develops. Personally, I’m hoping they bring Quick Reply to Teams…but that’s a different post.
Office 365 Groups Calendars and OneNote Notebooks
This is a bit of a mouthful so let me explain. In Office 365 Groups (a type of SharePoint site) you have the ability to have shared calendars and OneNote notebooks. This update to the Outlook Android client will give access to those calendars and shared notebooks from Outlook. If you’re working in a collaborative environment (and if not…we need to talk) this is a step in the right direction.
Thanks to the good people over at DroidLife for bringing this to my attention.
If you’re running an Android device and have Action Launcher as your launcher of choice, you can take advantage of a nice feature to streamline your use of OneNote. As you can see from the screen shot below I have OneNote (it’s the big N…I’m using an icon pack) in my dock. The marker in the bottom right corner indicates this icon is a “cover”, which means that by swiping up on the icon I can open a frame that will contain a working Android widget.
I’ve used the large OneNote widget as the one attached to the cover for the app, so now with a single swipe I can see my most recently accessed pages, add new notes, photos, and voice recordings right from the home screen. Talk about being productive!
What’s your favorite OneNote / Android tip?
This is going to be a bit of a rant today so be prepared. I’ve been an Android fan for a long time, using phones, tablets, and wearables since early in the alphabet of software versions. It’s those software versions causing my pain and anguish today.
Android updates – Hurry up and wait
It’s unacceptable that it takes so long, if ever, for Android devices to receive software updates. Now before you break out the flamethrowers understand that I get the idea some devices are too old to support upgraded operating systems. Those devices that are out of date I don’t have a problem with being left by the side of the road (unless they’re only a couple of years old, then I start sensing the ugly head of planned obsolescence). Where I do have an issue is when a flagship device (something sold at the high end of the pricing scale) either does not receive updates until long after other devices more recently released of possibly not at all in their lifecycle.
Apples and Androids
This is usually where I get told, “Well, if you used Apple devices you’d have your updates.” Yes, and if I cared about Apple devices I might do that, but I use Android. It’s not a difficult concept. To have to change platforms, both hardware and software, just to keep your devices current is poor engineering, plain and simple. I know this can be accomplished. Look at how Chromebooks are kept up to date. Hell, even Windows manages a better update cycle than Android devices.
Would you like a two-year contract?
There are so many benefits to the open Android environment from not only an application but also a flexibility position. You would think that one of those advantages would be the ability to not abandon devices by the side of the road when it comes to operating system updates. Yes, I’m aware the carriers are a major obstacle in the upgrading cycle. But yet, they’re not an obstacle in the Apple world? Hmmm, seems selling Android’s soul to the devil continues to cost the users when it comes to the lifespan of their devices. Take a look at Android Wear devices as another example. Updates are rolling out to older, less popular Android Wear devices, leaving flagships from key companies such as ASUS languishing. Is this any way to treat a loyal customer base?
Enough is enough
Google, get your act together when it comes to software updates. Find a way to fix this problem. The issue only continues to grow and your lack of response is an ongoing embarrassment to the Android community. Hell, it’s not like this is a complicated as unifying your messaging strategy. Oh, wait…strike that.