While mobile operating systems usually are not the primary platform for dedicated office-work, there have been many office suite applications made available for them over the years. The popularity and longevity of such mobile-use suites depend on how well their interface works with touchscreens (and in the case of tablets, accessory keyboards) when it comes to word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Even Microsoft has its hat in the ring by developing mobile versions of their MS Office suite as unified mobile app. The latest version is now ready for release this week and thus far, opinions have it as the best mobile Office app yet.
ZDNet reports that Microsoft has officially released the newest iteration of their unified mobile app for MS Office as of Wednesday, February 19. The Office app was first previewed by Microsoft in November of last year, and at last, it is ready to download on the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. As with the previous version of Office that Microsoft rolled out for Samsung Galaxy users also in 2019, this Office suite is a union of the three most-used apps from regular desktop MS Office, which are Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
But while it might already be enough for Microsoft to just retread the mobile optimizations of these word processing apps that other mobile developers have done, they of course plant to stand out with some mind-blowing new features to this mobile Office unified suite. Perhaps the most dramatic of these is the Word Dictation feature for mobile Word, allowing users to generate text with speech and minimizing the need for touchscreen/keyboard tapping. The Dictation function is even smart enough to consider formatting and punctuation to the words the user speaks.
The other apps in mobile Office get their own perks too. Mobile Excel now has Card View for viewing table/row data in an Excel spreadsheet without going beyond screen limits. In turn, mobile PowerPoint has a big upgrade to its Outline view, where users can now write their presentation in Outline format then have the app convert it into slides. Finally, Microsoft also included Lens technology on their mobile MS Office with which to convert images into documents for Word or Excel, great for working with PDFs or turning whiteboard scribbles into text. Creating documents on mobile devices have never been easier thanks to Microsoft.
Mobile MS Office on iOS and Android can be downloaded free on their respective stores, with basic features and functions. The more complex abilities of the app can be unlocked with an Office 365 mobile subscription. It is also expected that this new mobile unified app will be a standard install for the upcoming Surface Neo and Surface Duo devices.
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