Note-taking on the iPad with the new-and-improved Outline+ app

Outline+ was already a great iPad app for OneNote users, and it just got better with an update that introduces a number of new features including SkyDrive and inking support.

If you are a OneNote addict and an iPad user and haven't yet discovered Outline+, now is the time to take the plunge. This already excellent OneNote app for the iPad received an updated recently that brings a host of new features, including support for SkyDrive, external keyboards, inking, and sharing via PDF.

Before the app was updated, you could sync Outline+ with your OneNote notes via Dropbox or iTunes, but given the fact that OneNote and SkyDrive both sprang from the loins of Microsoft, it's probably a good guess that there are people out there who use both services. Thus, it ought to please many that you can now sync your notes in Outline+ via SkyDrive, greatly enhancing your ability to collaborate with others or just access the notes across your devices, whether it be iPad, PC, or Mac.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To grab a OneNote notebook from SkyDrive to edit in Outline+, tap the download button at the bottom of Outline+'s home screen and you'll see four "Open from" options: Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, and iTunes. After signing in to your Microsoft account, you'll see a list of OneNote notebooks listed. Tap one to open it in Outline+.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To perform the reverse and upload a notebook created in Outline+ to SkyDrive, tap-and-hold on a notebook until four tabs spring out from the right side of the notebook: Appearance, Sharing, Export, and Delete. On the Sharing tab, you'll be able to upload to Dropbox, Box, and SkyDrive. (The Export tab is for exporting to iTunes.)

In addition to the headlining new feature that is syncing via SkyDrive, Outline+ now lets you use an external keyboard. I tried it with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and found typing and navigating via the arrow keys to be a snap. You can't, however, use keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste. You'll need to highlight text via a tap on the screen to copy and paste, which is never my preferred method. As for the onscreen keyboard, it feature two new keys in its top-left corner to tab forward and back.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You can enter text with the onscreen keyboard or an external keyboard, and you can also scribble, draw, and otherwise ink with the updated Outline+. Tap the pen icon along the right edge when you have a notebook open to call up the inking options. You have four colors of ballpoint pen for jotting down handwritten notes, and there are also five highlighters for scribbling bright notes or highlighting text.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Lastly, there is a new sharing option that is sure to appeal to anyone who wants to share the genius contained within a OneNote notebook with non-OneNote users. Above the inking button is a share button that lets you quickly and easily email a notebook as a PDF attachment. You can also export it as a PDF to open in another app on your iPad, another useful option if you haven't completely turned over your life to OneNote.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

That's it for this update. For the next update coming down the line, the developer tells me that it will include encryption of sections and synchronization with SharePoint.

 

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