One of the most important business tools used by businesses and employees in nearly every position, is the mobile phone. One reason smartphones are so popular is that the apps enable users to do pretty much everything. iPhone users have multiple document related apps, but an official Microsoft Office app has always been lacking. Until now that is.
On 14 June, 2013, Microsoft launched Microsoft Office Mobile for the iPhone, on Apple’s App Store. For Office, and Office 365 users, this app has been a long time coming. The question is, does it live up to expectations?
About Microsoft Office Mobile app
First off the good news: The app is free for iPhone users. The main aspect to be aware of with this app is that it’s not meant to replace Microsoft Office on your desktop. It’s more of a companion app which extends where and how you can use or interact with Office.
You can open, edit and create Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, which are shown in their original format and automatically resized to fit the device’s screen size. From the documentation we’ve seen, the app has support for charts, animations and shapes, which means that documents created on your computer should be the same as on your iPhone. This certainly makes the app enticing to Office users, especially those with Office 2013.
As with all companion apps however, there are some caveats that make this app less than perfect.
Caveat 1: The app requires an Office 365 subscription
In order for this app to work, you will have to have an Office 365 subscription to either: Office 365 Home Premium, ProPlus, or one of the business offerings that incorporates the Office desktop suite e.g., Office 365 Midsize Business. How this works is that the app is tied into a SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro account, which is the same account used for your Office 365 subscription.
If you or your company has an Office 365 subscription and the Office 2013 desktop software, this app will be useful to you, as you will also be able to open and save files to the cloud (SkyDrive) and share them through Mail. If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you will have to upgrade your plan, which will involve making some changes if you don’t have Office 365.
Caveat 2: It’s only for the iPhone
The app is currently only available in the iPhone format. It will run on the iPad, but the app will only show in the iPhone’s screen size, making it harder to use on the tablet. This may be a problem if you want to use the iPad for presentations, or work on other Office documents while on the go.
There is no word on when, or if, there will be an iPad app, or an Android app for that matter. If you would like to learn more about how Office 365 can help make your business more efficient, or what you can do with it, please contact us today.