Computerized Investing > July 13, 2013
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Free for Office 365 subscribers (starting at $99)

View and edit Microsoft Office documents from your iPhone.

For the last several years, there has been a disconnect between arguably the world’s most popular office suite—Microsoft Office—and one of the most popular mobile devices—the iPhone. For people who use Microsoft Office almost every day to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, it can be frustrating to use third-party apps to edit them on an iPhone or iPad.

That changed recently, when Microsoft introduced the Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers app. Now you can edit and create Word and Excel documents as well as edit PowerPoint presentations.

There are several caveats that diminish the value of the app. First, you have to subscribe to the cloud version of Microsoft Office—Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 University. So if you are a user of the desktop version of Office, you can’t use the Office Mobile app. Second, you have to make use of Microsoft’s cloud storage service, SkyDrive. If you rely heavily on any other cloud service, like DropBox, this is an inconvenience. Lastly, there currently isn’t an Android version of the app. However, if you are an Office subscriber and have an iPhone, this is an app worth trying.

After you install the free app from the Apple iTunes Store on your iPhone 4/4S/5, the app defaults to opening on a “Recent” tab, which shows all the Office documents you’ve created and saved to your SkyDrive, sorted into time-related sections such as Today, Yesterday, Two Weeks Ago, etc. Tapping any document from the list will open the required Office “program.” The Open tab gives you access to SkyDrive or SharePoint. From the New tab you can create a new Word or Excel document from scratch. There are also a number of Word and Excel templates, including Agenda, Outline, Budget and Mileage Tracker. The Setting tab is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no settings to adjust. Here you can reset the app to delete all your data and access help and support information.

Formatting within Word documents is a bit limited. You can adjust text formats—highlighting, font size, bolding, etc.—but you aren’t able to change the font type. For Excel documents, you can add AutoSums, create charts and edit cells. While you can’t create new PowerPoint presentations with the app, you can view and edit existing presentations.

Of lesser annoyance is the fact that there isn’t a native iPad app. You have the option of using the “2X” button to expand the iPhone app to fit the iPad’s bigger screen, but you will notice some pixelation.

If you use Microsoft Office extensively and have signed up for an Office 365 subscription, the Microsoft Office Mobile App is something that could come in handy quite often. Having a native app is also a step up from the free Office Web Apps that Microsoft offers. Ideally, the app would integrate with DropBox, but it doesn’t seem likely that this will happen, as the service competes with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud-based storage service. However, until iPad and Android versions of the app are available, Microsoft will probably have a hard time appealing to a broad audience.

Microsoft Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers (for iPhone)


Free for Office 365 subscribers (starting at $99)


Patrick De Man from PR posted over 4 years ago:

There actually is an Android app. I have had it installed for a few months now.

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