Microsoft Combines Excel, Word & PowerPoint into a New Office App for Mobile

Nov 5
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Microsoft has announced a new Office app for iOS and Android which combines the functionality of Word, PowerPoint and Excel apps. It also has other features like document scanning, Actions and note capture. The app is currently available as a preview for both platforms.

Office app for iOS and Android

The new Office app contains the features of all the productivity apps in the Office suite, but also adds a few useful features that take advantage of your smartphone's camera in creative ways. The app has a main screen called Home, which contains all recent documents, recommended documents, media, and sticky notes. It is kind of like a news feed of all that is going on in your cloud storage and office apps. Users can tap on any document to start editing it right within the app.

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The big plus button in the bottom toolbar serves three purposes. The first option lets users create Sticky Notes, to note down ideas and thoughts. The second option opens the camera and lets users scan pictures to create new documents. A hand-drawn or printed table can be scanned to import into an Excel sheet, a document can be scanned into a Word document, and a picture can be captured to be imported into PowerPoint. Users can also use Office Lens to scan visiting cards and other such documents. The third option lets users create documents the old fashioned way, using Word, PowerPoint or Excel.

Office also includes a section called Actions. It contains a number of helpful features like QR code scanner, document sharing, PDF creation and signing. These are tasks that often require jumping through different apps, but Actions puts them all in one place.

If you use Google Drive app, the new Office app will feel similar. Just like Google Drive, it features recently updated documents in a feed, along with shared files. However, Drive does not have a smart camera scanning feature that Microsoft has perfected over time. Google Drive also switches to other Google apps like Sheets and Slides when you try to edit a file. Microsoft also makes the app more focused on productivity with the use of Actions.

You can sign up to download and install the Office preview app on iOS and Android. At the time of writing, the TestFlight for iOS beta was full so you might want to try your luck later.

P.S. the app is also not available for iPad at the moment.

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