Microsoft has launched its latest integrated Office app for iOS and Android on Wednesday, which unifies Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all into a single application. At first, the software designer began beta-testing the new Office app as a hub for all things Office mobile back in November. Now, anyone can download and install it on their phones. Microsoft has aimed at highlighting some of the improved mobile-friendly parts of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into quick actions that allow you to get stuff done on the go.
Work on the Go
All of the important apps are included and integrated, which means you can jump between documents quickly, scan PDFs, and also capture whiteboards, text, and tables into digital versions. Microsoft is also including support of third-party cloud storage such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and iCloud. Wednesday’s launch was also made available on Android tablets with “limited support,” and soon a completely optimized tablet experience is going to be available on both iPad and Android tablets.
While the starting feature set is going to be useful for instantly creating templates, scanning tables, and just making the use of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files on the go, Microsoft has planned more features specially focused on mobile. Word dictation looks poised to be one of the most interesting features. You’ll be enabled to use Word within this Office app to dictate your voice into text. There’s also a voice command bar for including punctuation such as question marks, commas, and exclamation marks.
Elsewhere, Microsoft plans to make Excel easier to use on mobile with a fresh card view. You’ll be able to see and edit data from Excel rows with a card view that makes it a lot easier to view on a vertical phone screen. Excel was made with columns along with wider screens in mind, and often, you’ll scroll across a dataset and miss the line you were seeing. This latest card view improves that for people who wish to view and edit Excel sheets on the go.
Microsoft is keeping standalone versions
The final new feature that Microsoft plans for the future transforms a minimalistic outline into a PowerPoint presentation. “Often there’s just a bunch of bullet points or a bunch of ideas we start with,” says Nithya Sampathkumar, Office app product manager. “So we said, ‘how do we make sure that work can get started on mobile?’ That’s the basis for creating an outline.” The latest feature allows you to write a presentation in bullet points or a short outline, and PowerPoint’s Designer feature is going to convert it into presentation slides complete with a style and formatting.
These three fresh features were not available in Wednesday’s release; however, Microsoft is planning to release them in the coming months. Right now, you can download the latest combined Office app for iOS and Android. Microsoft is still planning to keep the single Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps available for people who only utilize the standalone versions; however, this unified app is going to the app where most of the latest features will appear in the future.
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