Microsoft just announced a major redesign of its Office apps for mobile devices, combining them into a single application.
For decades, Microsoft Office has been the gold standard for productivity software and is one of the main applications that has helped the iPad become a staple in the corporate world. Now, Microsoft is redesigning its suite of programs to combine them into a single app, improving productivity and integration between the individual components.
“The new Office mobile app represents our vision for what a productivity solution would look like if first built for mobile devices. In designing this new experience, we first considered how people’s expectations differ when using a phone versus a computer, so we set out to optimize for simplicity, efficiency, and common mobile needs. Next, we explored how to better incorporate the unique ways that people input data and create content on a mobile device – essentially turning the phone form factor from a liability for doing work into an asset. Finally, we needed to ensure that this app met the high expectations people already have for Office solutions. This solution should feel familiar to the people that know and rely on them today and instill a sense of confidence that they can accomplish their work with the high degree of quality and security that they have come to know.
“We are excited to introduce to our solution to this endeavor. The Office app provides a simple, integrated experience that puts the tools you need for working on a mobile device at the forefront of the experience. We started by combining the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app. Doing so brings all of your Office documents together in one place, reduces the need to switch between multiple apps, and significantly reduces the amount of space used on your phone compared to multiple installed apps. We then added new capabilities that harness the strengths of mobile devices, such as the camera, to enable you to create content in uniquely mobile ways. Finally, we added a new Actions Pane that helps you accomplish many of the common mobile tasks you need to do all from one place.
“Whether using it for personal or professional reasons, Office is designed to be your go-to app for getting work done on a mobile device.”
The new application is available as a public preview, for both Android and iOS. Initially, the preview will only work on phones, although full tablet support will be available in time. The legacy apps will continue to be supported, although Microsoft is obviously hopeful that individuals and corporations will switch to the new option.