Microsoft’s unified Office app is now available on iPhone

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Microsoft-Office-Mobile
It's Office, but made easier.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is taking a new approach to Office on mobile, starting with a unified app that brings Word, Excel, and PowerPoint together for the first time. You can download and use it for free today on iPhone.

Microsoft first teased its brand-new Office app back in November when it invited users to test out an early beta. The all-in-one solution is designed to make its suite of Office apps simpler and more efficient for those on the move.

Just one download now provides access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — and all your documents live in the same place. You no longer have to switch between apps to stay productive when you’re using Office on iPhone.

Office is now simpler on iPhone

The big advantage to bringing all these apps together (apart from combining them in to just one download and negating the need to switch between apps) is that they now take up a lot less storage space. The new app weighs in at just under 379MB, whereas the others weight in at around 250MB each.

The unified Office app also uses Microsoft’s impressive Lens technology to bring new camera capabilities. You can scan PDFs, convert images into editable Word and Excel documents, and capture whiteboards that get automatically enhanced so that they’re easier to read in digital format.

You will also find shortcuts to common tasks, like making quick notes, signing PDFs, scanning QR codes, and transferring files between devices.

A better Office experience

“We know many people save rich document creation or editing for their computer or laptop and work on their phones in limited ways,” Microsoft said in a new blog post published today.

“We took this as a challenge for Office to find a better overall productivity experience that would change perceptions of how you could work on a mobile device to create an experience that was simpler, more integrated, harnessed the unique strengths of mobile devices, and truly put mobile needs at the forefront.”

There’s more to come, too. Future updates will bring voice dictation to Word, a useful Cards view for Excel that will make inputting data easier on a small screen, and an Outline feature for PowerPoint that will help with your presentations.

You can download the new Office app from the App Store now. It’s specifically for smartphones, so you won’t find it on iPad, and it’s free to use.