Microsoft's new 3-in-1 Office app for Android and iOS reimagines mobile productivity
Enter a brand-new Office app for iPhones and Android handsets, which finally does something that was previously only possible on Windows PCs and Apple's Mac computers. Namely, this brings Word, Excel, and PowerPoint together for an extra touch (pun intended) of simplicity and efficiency.
Instead of downloading separate versions of the three popular tools helping you create and edit documents, as well as spreadsheets and presentations, you can now find everything you need in one place. And yes, Microsoft claims the all-in-one Office mobile app will take up a lot less space on your phone compared to "multiple" installed titles. Even more importantly, the company is combining the productivity-enhancing features of its office suite so you can get all your work done without switching back and forth between different tools.
Because the camera is becoming the single most important selling point of any mobile device, Microsoft also aims to "harness the strength" of your increasingly more capable shooters by letting you instantly turn a picture of a document into an editable Word file, a picture of a table into an Excel spreadsheet, and any image stored on your phone into an editable page of a PowerPoint presentation.
Another major new Office app feature for Android and iOS handsets is an Actions pane that offers quick access to "common tasks you may encounter on a mobile device." We're talking things like PDF creation using your camera, PDF signing using nothing but your finger, OR code scanning to open files and links, text or table extraction from images saved to your phone, and file transfers between mobile devices and computers, which are all both possible and very easily accessible.
Unfortunately, the reimagined mobile productivity experience is not fully polished and finished yet, but if you want to help get it there or are just curious to try out the new suite before the masses, public previews are available for both iPhones and Android handsets, with tablet users set to join the fun... at some point too. In case you're wondering, Microsoft plans to continue to "support and invest" in the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps as well, offering everyone the choice between a unified and a fragmented work experience.