After months of rumors and speculations, Microsoft has finally announced Office Mobile for iOS. The first version of the Office Mobile productivity suite for Apple’s operating system is only compatible with iPhone and iPad touch. A subscription of Office 365 is required to view and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. There is no free or specific version of the suite for iPad. In addition, at least initially, the app is only available for the US users.
The design of Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers is very similar to Windows Phone counterpart. There are four main sections to access recent files, create and open saved documents & folders and settings. User can create Word documents and Excel spreadsheets directly from their smartphone, but they cannot create PowerPoint presentation. However, they can edit the text and add notes in the presentation.
Since the app is linked to Office 365, you can store your files on SkyDrive and SharePoint. In this way, you can access everything from any devices and continue from the point where you left. All changes will be synced from the cloud service and will be visible on the Office Web Apps and Office 2013. iOS users can also open any Office document attached to an email message.
The three applications included in Office 365 have been optimized for small screen of your smartphone. The document editing can be performed offline and changes will be synchronized when the internet connection will be available. All three applications do not support file formats of Office 2003 and earlier or ODF files. iOS users are used to highlight the text with the classic controls. However, Office Mobile instead uses the double tap to show edit button and formatting options.
When starting, the Office Mobile application displays a screen in which the user must enter the login credentials to Office 365. Alternatively, you have the option to sign-up ($99.99/year or $9.99/month). The latest version of SkyDrive for iOS does not allow for the in-app purchase of additional space. The company has been forced to comply with the conditions of use of the platform. Therefore, for each subscription, Apple pockets a commission of nearly 30% on the price. The international distribution of the app is expected in the next 4-5 days.