Microsoft Releases First Office App for IPad

Microsoft today released an update to its OneNote application for iOS that it said has been tweaked for the iPad.

OneNote is the only Office application Microsoft has ported to iOS. The company shipped an iPhone edition of the note-taking and project management program in January 2011.

With the release Monday of OneNote 1.3, Microsoft said that the app now runs on an iPad in "full resolution" rather than as a blown-up iPhone app.

According to a blog post by Michael Oldenburg, a technical writer in the Office group, the update works on both the original iPad and on the iPad 2.

"Since the launch of OneNote for iPhone nearly a year ago, a recurring request from our customers has been a version that can be used more easily on the iPad's larger screen," said Oldenburg.

Version 1.3 also includes several new features, including the option to synchronize OneNote "notebooks" via Wi-Fi, a tabbed interface design, and rendering of tables.

Users can sync their OneNote notebooks to multiple devices -- including iPhone, iPad, and their Windows PCs -- using Microsoft's free SkyDrive storage and sync service, Oldenburg added.

OneNote 1.3 is a free download, but caps the user's notes at 500, a number that includes both existing or newly-created notes. To exceed that limit, U.S. users must pay $4.99 for unlimited use on an iPhone, or $14.99 for an unlimited number of notes on an iPad.

Prices for users in other countries are posted on their versions of Apple's App Store.

OneNote 2010 -- the newest version for Windows -- retails for $79.99 as a standalone program, and is also included with Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, and Office Professional 2010.

As ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley first reported today, Microsoft also plans on releasing iPhone and iPad versions of a Lync 2010 client.

Lync is Microsoft's platform for unified enterprise voice, instant messaging, video chat and online conferencing.

"Lync 2010 for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Nokia Symbian ... have been submitted to their respective mobile app stores and will be available very shortly," said Pat Fox, the senior director of marketing for Office, in a separate blog today.

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone 7 devices debuted yesterday on Microsoft's Marketplace.

Microsoft today updated OneNote for iOS to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

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