Microsoft Adds iCloud Support for Office for iOS Apps



Microsoft released new versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel for iPhone/iPad today that allow users to open, edit, and save to iCloud. This comes on the heels of Microsoft making these apps free, adding Dropbox support, and expanding storage space on OneDrive for subscribers of Office 365. Microsoft seems to be fulfilling its promise to concentrate on getting users using Microsoft Services and software without forcing them to get locked into one platform. 

If you are already using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your iPhone/iPad, just check the App store for the free update. Otherwise search the App store to download these apps for free. 

Microsoft Office Apps Come to iPhone, Editing and Creating Now Available for iPad and iPhone

Microsoft announced on its blog today, that Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are now universal, meaning that they are available for both iPad and iPhone. In addition to Word, Excel and PowerPoint now being available on the iPhone, the updated apps now allow users of both iPhone and iPad to create and edit Microsoft Office documents without a subscription to Office 365. The prior versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad could only be used to view documents without a subscription to Office 365.

As part of this release, the horrible Microsoft Office Mobile app for iPhone will be retired. Additionally, Microsoft has promised a preview of Office for Android tablets in the near future and confirmed that a touch-optimized version of Office is in development for Windows 10.

Although Microsoft announced immediate availability of the updates in the Apple App Store, I could only access them with through a link currently and not through an App Store Search.

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This is a great change for Microsoft. Although a Microsoft Office 365 account is not needed for editing abilities, you do have to login with a Microsoft Account. If you already have a Live.com account, a Hotmail Account, or you have registered with Microsoft in any way, you can use the same login information. If you do not have an account, it is free to setup and use. If you do not login with a Microsoft Account, you are still limited to just viewing documents.

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The Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on the iPhone are just as full featured as the iPad versions, but due to the smaller screen, toolbar options have been adjusted to a menu instead of across the top. It will not be as quick to edit and create on an iPhone, but it is a nice option for those situations when you do not have access to a computer or tablet. I can confirm that documents that I routinely use with advanced formatting options appeared in the native format on my phone.

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Dropbox integration that was just recently announced has been added in the updated apps. When you first launch the updated app, you are given the option of immediately signing in to Dropbox. If you decline, the option can easily be added later by selecting “Add a Service” under connected services. I was able to easily add my Dropbox account and authenticate through the Dropbox App. Editing and viewing of Dropbox documents worked with no problem.

This is a very welcome addition to the Microsoft Office Applications.

Microsoft Office 365 Adding Support for Dropbox

Microsoft and Dropbox announced a new partnership today that will allow users to more easily access documents, spreadsheets and presentations stored in Dropbox. Under the new partnership, iPad apps for Dropbox and office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, will offer easy ways to access and edit documents using the Office suite of apps. Along with Microsoft’s own OneDrive, users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be able to connect the apps to Dropbox and open and save documents directly to this service. When viewing documents in Dropbox, iPad users will be given the option to directly open documents in the Office 365 apps to view and edit.

It appears that a subscription to Office 365 will still be needed to create and edit documents using the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps, but the additional cloud storage option will be welcomed by many users. Considering Microsoft’s recent announcement of unlimited cloud storage for subscribers of Office 365, I’m not sure Dropbox is still necessary, but if you are using that service, this change should make life easier for you. The updated apps are expected soon. See the Verge for more information. IMG_5676.JPG

Microsoft Office Suite for iPad Updated: Export to PDF!

Microsoft Updates Office for iPad

Microsoft released the first major update for Office for the iPad on July 31, 2014. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel all received updates. Most notable for all three apps is the ability to export to PDF and to use third-party fonts. Each app also gained the ability to crop photos that are being used (you could previously add photos to each, but you were unable to crop).

Microsoft PowerPoint 1.1 for iPad Presenter View Screenshot

Microsoft PowerPoint added important presentation features for attorneys. You now have the ability to view and edit speaker notes, see your next slide and jump to others slides while presenting. Media (video and audio) can be played while presenting now, and videos can be added from your camera roll. It will be nice for attorneys using PowerPoint for presentations and trials to now be able to fully control slides in any order.

Microsoft Excel also added more support for PivotTables, external keyboards, and cell selection. You can now flick a cell’s selection handle to select all data in a row or column. All the same keys that you use on a desktop version of Excel are also now supported for the iPad version of Excel when using an external keyboard. Finally PivotTables can be modified when source data is in the same workbook.

Microsoft Word was the most boring of the updates. The major addition to Word is the ability to send as PDF, use third-party fonts, and to crop photos. These features were also added to the other apps in the Office for iPad suite.

Send as PDF in Microsoft Word

It is nice to see that Microsoft continues to make the apps in the Office Suite better for the iPad. I am disappointed that Microsoft still hasn’t added “Open In” support for these apps, but you still have the option of launching Microsoft One Drive, and using “Open In” to export documents to other apps on your iPad.

As reminder, these apps are free to download from the Apple App store, but you must have a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 to use all the features. (You can use each app as a viewer for free, but you need a subscription to create and edit documents). Microsoft offers in-app purchase of an Office 365 subscription, or it can be purchased directly from Microsoft or third-party resellers. Amazon currently has one year subscription keys available for as inexpensive as $64.00. Office 365 Home 1yr Subscription Key Card