Microsoft’s Productivity Apps Arrives On The iPad

Apple iPad Fans who are looking to get some work done on their devices will certainly appreciate Microsoft’s announcement today. The Redmond company has now brought its popular productivity apps to the iPad. Office for iPad is now free, but before pointing your address bar to the Apple app store, here are a few things you might want to look at before clicking that download button…

Video courtesy of Microsoft Office

Apple iPad Fans who are looking to get some work done on their devices will certainly appreciate Microsoft’s announcement today. The Redmond company has now brought its popular productivity apps to the iPad.

Office for iPad is now free, but before pointing your address bar to the Apple app store, here are a few things you might want to look at before clicking that download button.

The App is free for a reason

Office for iPad is now available for free on the Apple store but it does have certain limitations. For starters, the free version will only allow users to view documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Those looking to have editing capabilities will require an Office 365 subscription which starts at US$7.99 per month.

You have the option to download only the apps you need

Microsoft has given users the option to choose only which app to download. Unlike previous versions of its Microsoft Office that comes in a suite, Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint can now be downloaded separately.

It has a familiar interface but there’s room for improvement

The Microsoft Office for iPad features relatively the same user interface as those found on PCs and Macs. There’s the signature ribbon interface that holds tabs containing different commands and options. Moreover, the apps now pack more features in contrast to the one for the iPhone, which include support for reflowing of text, formatting and touch handles.

However, there is still room for improvement. For instance, adding a video to a PowerPoint presentation would require a user to use a Windows client. There’s also no way for a user to access presentation notes since the app mirrors the entire screen during a presentation.

The good thing is that it’s finger-friendly

Microsoft did a great job with optimising the Office apps for a touch interface device. Inserting objects and moving them around in a document is done easily with a simple touch and drag gesture. Images come with large touch handles which allow users to easily manipulate images without the need of a stylus.

It’s powered by the cloud

Lastly, the apps will be able to utilise the power of Microsoft’s cloud services. The apps supports collaborative work using Microsoft’s OneDrive allowing multiple users to view and edit a document or presentation. Moreover, Office 365 subscribers will be able to upload Office for iPad apps on up to five tablets plus install five copies across Office for PCs and Macs.




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