Today, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Office app for iOS and Android. It combines PowerPoint, Word, and Excel into one application, and it adds a number of mobile-oriented features.
“This app maintains all the functionality of the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps but requires far less phone storage than using three separate apps,” Microsoft’s description in the iOS App Store says. The app is free to download and use, but many “premium features” are locked behind an Office 365 subscription.
After a few privacy notifications and the like, the app launches to a homescreen that lists all your recent cloud documents, with a bottom navigation panel. That panel can take you to other places. The first is the add menu, where you can create a document or note either from scratch, from a template, or from something captured by your device’s camera. Documents you create can be stored in iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox.
In addition to Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents, you can add simple notes, but for some reason, these are not part of Microsoft’s existing OneNote service. “Lens” is another option besides creating a document the old-fashioned way; this camera-based document generator is the same as we’ve seen in Microsoft’s standalone app by the same name.
The second is the Actions panel, which is a vertically scrollable list of quick actions common on mobile devices. It includes:
- Transfer files
- Image to text
- Image to table
- Sign a PDF
- Scan a PDF
- Pictures to PDF
- Document to PDF
- Scan QR code
Full editors for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents are built-in to the app, and Microsoft has aimed to keep the available features and options the same between the stand-alone apps and this all-in-one app, even if there may be some layout differences. Unfortunately, there’s no iPad version at this time, so iPad users may wish to continue using the standalone apps on that platform.
The new Office app is available for both Android and iOS today, though it might take a little while to show up in app store search results. Microsoft intends to continue supporting and adding new features to its standalone apps for the foreseeable future.
Listing image by Samuel Axon