Microsoft released its newest version of Office on Nov. 6, which is a big move to attract more Apple users with its software. According to PC World, the latest Office release is intended for iOS, works across several Apple devices and gives users the opportunity for free editing and content creation. The new Office is available for those who have an Office 365 account and for those who don't. The suite will allow iOS users to run Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft originally had only two different versions of Office for Apple users, which included the standard and ideal Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad and Office Mobile for iPhone. According to PC World, the iPhone app was barely usable and pointless to have or use on the smaller device. However, now Microsoft has released its first version that is completely accessible across all Apple devices from iPhones to iMacs.
Previous version seriously lacking
The early version of Office for the iPhone was not easy to use on the device because it had a different coding than what most people are used to when using Microsoft Of
fice. However, the company said the new version of Office will use the same codebase system that other devices use. Editing on the MS Mobile Office Suite allows user to focus more on content instead of how to work around the app and interface of the program, PC World reported. Also, Apple iPhone users will be able to download each program on its own as a single app to create a more Office-resembling feel when using it on the phone, ZDNet reported.
Plans to work across all devices
Microsoft is also working on a "universal version" of each of the Office programs that will work on Android, Windows and other phones as well. The release date has not been announced just yet.
According to the source, the new versions will have a "Reflow" that allows users to work through the document and will not force panning and scanning while it temporarily enlarges any documents to view on the phone's screen. There will be a "Full Screen" mode for Excel on the iPhone version that will not be available for the iPad Office apps.
The movement toward more efficient and easier-to-use Office apps comes just in time for those contemplating an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The 5.5-inch screen on the iPhone 6 Plus will make it much easier to use these popular apps, and the iPhone 6 version will be beneficial as well.
Michael Atalla, director of product management at Microsoft Office, explained that every screen should be able to run the products no matter the screen size, Wired reported. Atalla said portability is one of Microsoft's key focuses in revising Office for iPhones and other smaller devices.
"We want people to experience that unmistakable Office look and feel everywhere," said Atalla, according to the source.
Increased competition could be the driver
The new versions of Office for Apple finally show Microsoft is no longer battling with its competitor to make the programs available on only its devices, the source reported. More competition could be the reason, as well, because Dropbox has integrated new apps for iOS. However, Atalla said the apps are in the right direction to attract mobile users.
"They're the best reflection of our mobile-first strategy," Atalla said, according to Wired.
Whatever device is used, the new apps will make smartphones more accessible for work and other projects. To protect these devices, iPhone and iPad owners should get personal insurance to ensure will be replaced if they are damaged or lost.