Just this week, Apple announced at WWDC that iWork for iCloud would not only mean iWork for the web, it also means web compatibility to edit and export Microsoft Office documents in iWork itself. This was seen as a way of accepting the realities about Microsoft Office’s impact on documenting for Mac users and other computer users in general. Now, Microsoft has showed their appreciation with the release of Office for iOS. Now, Office 365 (required) subscribers install Office for iOS can edit Word, Powerpoint and Excel documents directly on the app. Let’s take a look at how Microsoft makes Office fit right into iOS.
The design is very minimalist and straight to the point. Some would be against this, however Microsoft understands that since their users must have Office 365 subscriptions, chances are high that the mobile app is only a supplement of what they are doing on their desktops. Office Mobile is by far no documenting replacement and Microsoft doesn’t try to appease competition on this point. For this reason, the minimalist design is welcoming and allows their power users on the go to get straight to the point of what they need to get done.
Office Mobile is big on compatibility. It’s important to remember that not all documents could be compatible on Office Mobile due to the complexity and amount of aspects added to such document that may not be editable on Office Mobile, which is a bit barebones.
Opening the app for the first time means you’ll have to sign in with Office ID. This is mainly as a way for you to have easy retrieval of your documents. Other than that, digging it is near instant. You are then presented with a page showing your documents created and separated by date, this is under the “Recent” tab. You can then create a new document in the “New” tab, or add new documents in the “Open” tab.
Useful Features and Capabilities
It is important to mention that the complexity of Powerpoint documents means that at the moment, Office Mobile isn’t capable to create new Powerpoint documents. Instead, you can view and still even edit such documents. Aside from this, Word is the most compatible and allows you to do the most in terms of document creation.
That said, this is a perspective of Office Mobile as a whole. When you take it from the perspective of Office suite as a whole, Microsoft Office is barebones and can’t even perform some of the simplest tasks (bullets or other such lists aren’t even compatible). Excel allows for a lot of editing options however, including formulas and undo!
Office Mobile has SkyDrive capabilities, which is accessible in the “Open” tab. This means that you can continue editing other documents saved here. Outside of Office Mobile, documents that can be opened in the app that are from other parts of your iPhone will be prompted to ask you if you’d like to “Open in Office Mobile” or elsewhere.
Overall, Office Mobile shows us that for the individual with the direct need to edit an Office document or even to hash out a basic, simple Office document, there’s an option. However, those looking to do heavy duty documentation might want to look elsewhere like QuickOffice or even Evernote!
Final Impressions: It is great to finally see the Office suite available for the iOS users out there. It came to no surprise that the design was on point, this isn’t Microsoft’s first rodeo with the mobile aspect.
While there are a couple of capabilities missing that some iOS users will miss not having, the fact that the app is available is a large step, with a chance for Microsoft to tailor the app to the needs of their users over time. Let us know in the comments below of what you want to see most out of Microsoft Office.