Office Mobile For iPad and iPhone Review

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Office for iPad is finally here, and for once, the term “finally” is truly justified. For nearly as long as the iPad has been available, general consumers and enterprise users alike have been clamoring for Microsoft’s suite of document editing tools. In fact, the dearth of Office on iPad enabled an entire ecosystem to grow, with the likes of Quickoffice and DocsToGo stepping in to fill the void. Eventually, Apple’s own iWork suite was unleashed on iOS for free, which also helped bridge the gap. But even still, there has been a void: you can imitate Office and get by, but there was real, no bona fide replacement for the original.

Just months after Microsoft knighted its latest CEO in Satya Nadella, it made yet another big move. It listened to the cries of the masses and pushed Office into rival territory. Make no mistake: this is a significant move for Microsoft. Despite herculean efforts to drive Surface sales upward, the iPad has continued to dominate the global market share for tablets. There’s just no skirting the fact that Apple’s slate has the mind share and market share that other companies do not, and it was high time for Microsoft to come to grips with it. In fact, some pundits are suggesting that Office for iPad has arrived too late, missing a golden opportunity to become the de facto document editing suite on Apple's iPad family of products.

Nevertheless, Office Mobile is available to download, for both the iPad and iPad mini, and even the iPhone. The suite includes three separate apps: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. All three are completely free to download and enjoy, but there are limits to what you can do without ponying up $5 per month for an Office 365 subscription. You can open and view documents in any of the apps, and you can even flip into presentation mode on PowerPoint without paying. However, to make any edits whatsoever, you’ll have to be a paying Office 365 subscriber.

On one hand, we don’t exactly need yet another recurring subscription. On the other, enterprises who have already invested in Office 365 will suddenly find said investment all the more worthwhile. The upside here is that there’s absolutely no risk in trying all three of Microsoft’s new iOS additions, and if you find yourself in a position where you need to edit, you can pay inside of the app without having to download any additional software.

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Jaybk26 8 months ago

I've become less and less enchanted with the Microsoft Office suites. It's starting to feel like slowly migrating to Gmail and Google Docs is the best solution for almost every user.

basroil 8 months ago

Google docs is a joke, I have issues with their PDF parsing, reading even simple docx files results in almost unreadable garbage. Perhaps if you only use simple text files is enough, but don't think for a second anyone takes that garbage suite seriously.

As for gmail, their mandatory google+ pages were a final straw. I'm moving away from gmail after using it for almost exactly a decade (I was one of the second batch invite beta users) as my primary. I find works better even on my android phone!

Unless you don't actually need productivity software, you can't even think about replacing office with google doc

WendellBeverly1 8 months ago

I like the fact that you can read and access existing documents for free, and only have to pay anything to create new Office documents.

Working for a company that is heavy Office reliant allows iPad users better accessibility.

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