Microsoft’s all-in-one Office app can turn your iPad into a desktop-class work machine
Subscription: $7/£6 per month
Size: 345 MB
Platform: iOS and iPadOS
Microsoft’s new Office app for iPadOS brings the power of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to your iPad in one simple package – alongside a handful of incredibly useful bonus features. It’s a must-have app for anyone looking to use their iPad to do serious work.
The Microsoft Office app was already available for iPhone – though the software is, without doubt, far better-suited to Apple’s iPad, with its larger screen and support for hardware keyboards. Up until now, we’ve had three separate Office apps – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – but Microsoft Office instead unifies the best features, providing the almighty power of three in one.
This means that after installing Microsoft Office on your iPad, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations will open there – and the experience of editing work in the unified app will instantly feel familiar. Having one Office app instead of three separate ones is great – you save on Home screen or dock space, as well as internal storage and update management. Plus you’ll only have to sign in once!
That said, there are a couple of small bugs in the current build, which will hopefully be squashed in the near future.
Actually using Microsoft Office will indeed feel familiar for anyone used to using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint for iPadOS. For those who are new to the world of tablet-based document-editing, there’s no need to worry – Microsoft Office perfectly imagines Microsoft’s desktop suite for Apple’s iPad. You can create, format, and review documents just like you would on PC or Mac. Plus, Microsoft Office is fully optimized for Apple’s Magic Keyboard, meaning you can type and use the trackpad like a traditional laptop computer.
Microsoft Office is great for document-editing, but it ships with some bonus features, too. In the app’s main interface, you can browse through a series of “actions” – these are Office-inspired shortcuts which allow you to perform a wide range of useful tasks right within the app.
There’s Scan to PDF, which lets you snap a series of pictures and create a PDF document. There’s also Create a Form, which hooks up with Microsoft Forms and allows you to create private or public surveys. Perhaps most usefully, there’s PDF to Word, which converts a PDF file to a Word document for easy editing. These bonus features are a great addition to Microsoft Office and perhaps the aspect that will be most useful to the average user.
Usefully, the app hooks up with Apple’s Files app, but you can also add a range of third-party storage accounts, too, including OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and many others. Documents can also be stored on your iPad for offline access.
Microsoft Office is free to download, and boasts an unusual payment scheme: owners of Apple’s smaller iPads can create and edit documents for free, but on a 10.1-inch iPad or larger, you’ll need to pay for a Microsoft 365 plan in order to create and edit documents. That’ll set you back $7/£6 per month for a personal plan.
But don’t forget – you’ll be able to use this subscription between five different devices, and it also includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
- The power of three apps in one
- Great bonus workflows
- A good range of third-party storage options
- A few small bugs in the current build