Microsoft this week upgraded its Office software for iPad and iPhone, and they look good. It also announced an upcoming preview for Android tablets running KitKat and said touch-optimized Office apps for Windows 10 should arrive next year.
A major piece of good news is that much more of the Office for iPad and iPhone functionality is available for free, without a subscription to Office 365. Nevertheless, some premium features are still only available to subscribers. To use the free apps, you must have a Microsoft ID, but that is available for free.
Office Mobile for iPhone has been replaced with separate apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, mirroring the setup for iPad. A list of the major improvements to the iPhone apps is below. Most of them also apply to the new iPad apps, except those specifically designed for phones. If you’re already running Office Mobile, you’ll upgrade it. Then, when you open the app, you will be given the opportunity to install the separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps.
While it may seem unlikely that you will want to start a new PowerPoint presentation on your iPhone 4S, it may seem a lot easier on the new, larger iPhone 6 plus.
Some previously announced features are also featured in the upgrade, such as the ability to save to and open from Dropbox, and the ability to print to printers compatible with Apple AirPrint.
More information about the upgrades is available from Microsoft here.
New Features Available in Word, PowerPoint and Excel for iPhone
Dropbox Support: Open, edit and save documents from Dropbox directly in Word.
Create and Edit for Free: Sign in with a Microsoft Account to create and do basic editing of your documents for free.
Chart Elements: Customize your charts by adding or removing chart elements such as titles, legends, axis tiles and more (Premium feature).
Print Layout View: Genuine Word document fidelity as the author originally intended.
Reflow View: Read and edit docs that have been optimized for your phone.
Rich Formatting: Customize your text, shapes, pictures, and charts just like you can on your desktop.
Reviewing Tools: Track and review changes in documents from your phone. (Premium Feature)
Coauthoring: Work on a document with others even when you’re on the go.
Print: Print your Word documents right from your phone!
Beautiful Presentations: Start a presentation when you’re on the go, and choose from a number of themes.
Transitions and Animations: Now you can add exciting transitions between slides or animations to slide content. Choose from entrance, emphasis and exit effects.
Presenter View: See your notes and slides, or use the laser pointer and pen.
Audio and Video: PowerPoint for iPhone can play supported audio and video content from your presentation.
Full Screen View: See more of your spreadsheet with full screen view.
Formula Keyboard: Easily enter numbers and formulas with the formula keyboard.
Advanced Formatting: Format your workbook, charts, shapes, and pictures just like you can on your desktop.
Print: Print your Excel workbooks right from your phone!