Free Microsoft Office App for iPhone and iPad Available Next Year

Image Source: Microsoft Office 2010 | Official Website

Last Wednesday, The Verge reported that Microsoft will release an Office application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The app is expected to arrive on the iOS App Store early next year. It will offer free document viewing. However, editing Office documents on iDevices will require a subscription.

Meet the “Office Mobile”

Also dubbed as “Office Mobile,” the Microsoft Office for iPhone and iPad will be a free option available on the iOS App Store. However, this will require users to have a Microsoft Office account.

Included in the application are Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Meanwhile, those with Office 365 subscription will be able to edit documents. In addition, the Office 365 subscription will be available for purchase through the application. Although it would allow basic editing on documents, the subscription would not go as far as “attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office application.”

More Office for iOS Rumors

Rumors of a Microsoft Office for iPad have circulated for the past year. In fact, The Daily offered a first glimpse of the said application last February. They even reported that it will be submitted to Apple for approval. The online publication even shared a few new things found on the software’s working prototype:

A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software revealed a number of new things. The app’s user interface is similar to current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system.

Last May, AMOG also reported about the Outlook Web App, a new native iOS application that Microsoft was working on. The said application offers support for Exchange 2012 mailboxes, as well as the software giant’s Metro interface. Together with it comes the new version of Lync for iOS, which boasts improved connectivity, instant messaging, audio and video chat, and Web conferencing. This is considered a flight from Lync 2010, which is not built in Metro.

Expected Office Mobile Release Date

Last October, a Microsoft product manager in Czech Republic hinted the new Office Mobile would be available as soon as March 2013. However, a representative from the company declined to give an exact release date, only saying that the Office suite would “work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.”

Office Mobile is also expected to become available for Android, although there is no word for its probable release date yet.

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