Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2015 Contents B2
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Microsoft OneNote and Ever-
note seem to be doing the same
thing. Do they get it done equal-
I ve written about working with
(http://ow.ly/Uo8yi) and saluted
the software as my preferred
solution for keeping drafts of
columns and other notes syn-
chronised across all the platforms
I dip into during a working day.
This column is getting under-
way while I wait poolside using
a Samsung S6, but before it s
done, it will have been opened
and added to on a Windows 10
tablet hybrid, an iPad Air and a
For the most part, Microsoft
OneNote looks pretty much the
same on every platform when it
opens, offering the same splash
screen inviting you to either sign
in or to create an account.
Once you re past that however,
the software appears subtly,
sometimes dramatically different
according to the platform it
OneNote is at its best on desk-
top systems, with a fulsome suite
of word processing tools.
Formatting changes made on
one platform show up pretty
much instantly on another and
the toolset, though spare, is more
than adequate for a writer focused
more on content than inter-
minably switching fonts.
You can create stylesheets and
bulleted lists quite easily, partic-
ularly if you re coming to
OneNote from Word.
Evernote offers basic format-
ting across all the platforms it
supports, but by comparison it s
almost painfully barebones.
There are a lot of other tools
that are focused on OneNote s
mission to become an electronic
notebook, but I d trade equation
functions in an instant for some-
thing as useful as a word count,
which I can t find anywhere in
any version of the software.
Evernote has a word count
function but it s buried in the
document info for each note,
hardly the kind of up front
reminder that writers or even
serious note takers like to have
It s on Android, at least on the
smartphone edition, that
OneNote falls short on format-
ting, offering no tools at all that
I can find.
On that platform at least,
OneNote is basically a text input
tool offering none of the inherited
word processing finesse that
characterises the software on
Windows, Mac and iOS.
But it s even wonkier than that.
Once I made a formatting change
and sorted out my notebook hier-
archy, the Android edition simply
stopped synchronising with the
online database. Efforts to sort
out exactly what the error might
be didn t go anywhere. Removing
the formatting on another plat-
form didn t help either.
So in this test, the link between
the OneNote cloud database on
Android seems vulnerable to as
simple a thing as a font change.
Evernote offers sparse format-
ting tools for flawless synchro-
nisation of text and collections
across all the platforms it sup-
Not that Evernote is immune
to cross-platform formatting
problems. I ve had issues with
some revisions of the software
inserting arbitrary line-breaks
that show up when copying and
pasting an Evernote text file into
a standard word processor.
It s easily sorted out using the
software s command for remov-
ing formatting and recent revi-
sions seem less prone to the issue,
but the perfect cross-platform
note gathering app backed by a
cloud database to handle syn-
chronisation remains something
that s very much in development.
This direct comparison also
skips over the fact that OneNote
and Evernote are actually
designed to do quite different
things despite the core similarity
in their feature set.
OneNote has offered tools that
allow users to annotate and draw
on their notes and imported data
since it was introduced as a tablet
focused digital notebook.
Evernote wants to be a user s
online repository for all of their
digital information and offers dif-
ferent tiers of access to support
I ve gotten by using the free
version of Evernote for a couple
of years now, but it s been rather
enthusiastically nagging me of
late about the other, improved
and for pay options that exist for
The nag screens have become
quite persistent and should be
factored in when choosing your
cross platform note gathering
Apart from that, if you re com-
fortable with Microsoft Office,
OneNote is a quite useful addition
to the suite and makes cross-
platform document access
Evernote has always felt like a
Mac native tool, and its successful
presence on other platforms
makes notetaking and informa-
tion harvesting effortless.
Android with the Priv
make its Black-
Berry 10 phone
software a viable
Apple s iPhone
and Google s
isn t giving up on
it s also hedged its bets with its first Android
The new Priv has a physical keyboard, a rarity
on Android phones these days. It looks like any
other phone until you slide the keyboard out
from the bottom, like a desk drawer. It s an engi-
neering feat given that the phone still feels thin,
although it s thicker than Samsung s flagship
phones and the iPhone.
Typing on Blackberry s keyboard feels much
better than it did on the original Motorola Droid
in 2009. As my first smartphone, the keyboard
model seemed safer given that I wasn t sold on
its touch-screen counterparts. But on-screen
keyboards have grown on me, and the Priv s
physical keyboard slowed me down. Friends
who ve tried the new device, including former
BlackBerry users, felt much the same way.
BlackBerry devices are known for their security
and privacy protections, and the company built
some of those features into the Priv s hardware.
An app rates your device security based on factors
such as whether you ve enabled a passcode. This
app also identifies other apps that grab personal
information. I saw that Facebook has accessed
my location 41 times in the past week, for instance.
Among other notable features:
• The 5.4-inch screen is curved on both sides,
similar to Samsung s Galaxy S6 Edge devices.
Slide a toolbar from the side to access your cal-
endar, messages and contacts. The email app is
also more sophisticated than most; it supports
rich-text formatting, such as italics and colours,
when composing messages.
• BlackBerry offers icons that serve as shortcuts
to frequent tasks, such as composing a message,
viewing alarms or checking data usage. (AP)
OneNote vs Evernote
This column underway in OneNote, right, with the same note open
in Evernote for comparison.
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