Microsoft’s widely used Office suite has finally made its way into the iPhone platform. Recently available on Apple’s app store, the mobile companion app has been optimized to enable users to access various Office applications directly from their iPhone. The release of Microsoft’s Office app has been the topic of rumors and speculations for quite some time, but received fairly minimal mainstream attention.
It’s interesting to note that the Office Mobile app can be downloaded for free, and while this makes it attractive for many iPhone users, keep in mind that this also comes with certain limitations. Aside from downloading the free app, users also need to subscribe to Office 365 in order to maximize the complete features and functionalities of the mobile Office app. For those interested in experiencing the full benefits of additional mobile productivity, the current price tag of an annual Office 365 subscription is at $99.99.
For a mobile Office companion, the app delivers well as expected. Users can easily create, view and edit popular Office documents such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Features within the app ensure that regardless of how these files were created, these documents are displayed in their original format. This means that document objects such as animations, charts, and shapes retain their integrity whether they were originally created or edited in a desktop application or from a mobile app. The iPhone Office app also provides access to cloud-based compatible documents through storage platforms such as SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro.
With an impressive set of features, enhanced support for a variety of complex documents and sleek aesthetics, Microsoft has developed a nifty mobile package that strikes an appeal both in looks and functionality. Offering the Office Mobile could be considered Microsoft’s strategy to entice more subscribers to the Office 365, but this free app could just make the subscription worthwhile.
Through this app, Microsoft was able to answer the demands of better mobile productivity, but the product isn’t perfect yet and still comes with certain downsides. The required Office 365 subscription could already be a major setback to a lot of potential users. Its limited availability also poses another problem since it can only be downloaded by US-based iPhone users. There’s still a lot of room for updates and by the time the app is available outside of the US, hopefully Microsoft comes up with a version compatible for the iPad.