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 Giving 1 TB of OneDrive Storage to Entice Office 365 Subscriptions

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Microsoft announced a massive increase to OneDrive storage today for both paid and free accounts. Under the new plan, 15 GB of storage is available for free to all users of OneDrive (this is up from the 7 GB previously offered), and if you are a subscriber to Office 365, that number goes up to 1 TB. If you are not an Office 365 subscriber, you also have the option of purchasing 100 GB of storage for $1.99 per month, or 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

This news comes less than a month after Apple announced their upcoming iCloud Drive service that offered substantially lower rates than those currently being offered by competitors. For comparison sake, Apple announced that iCloud Drive would offer 5 GB of free storage, with 20GB to be $0.99 per month, 200 GB to be $3.99 per month, and 1 TB to be determined.

The biggest loser in these price decreases is Dropbox. Currently Dropbox offers 2 GB of storage for free, with 100 GB for $9.99 per month, and 200 GB for $19.99 per month. It will be interesting to see how long before Dropbox has to drop their prices to be competitive. Google Drive also offers 15GB of free storage and 100 GB for $1.99 per month and 1 TB for $9.99 per month.

If you were looking for a good reason to purchase Office 365, and the releases of Microsoft Office for the iPad were not enough for you, OneDrive storage definitely makes the subscription the most economical way I have found to obtain cloud storage, with the added bonus of Microsoft Office on your iPad and Desktop. It is also important to remember that you can still purchase a one year subscription to Office 365 from Amazon at $72.00.