Office for iPhone is now free for home use

Office Mobile for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Office Mobile for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Shortly after Microsoft brought the mobile edition of Office to the iPhone last summer, fans of the Windows giant’s productivity software cried foul as the app came across to them as more of an Office companion for mobile than a full-blown productivity application.

Although available free of charge and with editing functionality for your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, the app initially required an Office 365 subscription – much like the newly released Office for iPad. But not anymore.

Started today, Microsoft is making both the iPhone edition of Office and the version for Android smartphones free for everyone, like on Windows Phone. And to reflect the updated business model, the app has been rechristened and is now simply called Office Mobile for iPhone – much shorter and easier to remember than ‘Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers’, which used to be its full name before…

The change was announced in a post over at the Office blog earlier today.

“Just like Office Mobile for Windows Phone, we are making Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones free for everyone,” wrote the team. “With Office Mobile, you have the ability to view and edit your Office content on the go.”

In addition to this change, Office Mobile for iPhone version 1.1 includes a few bug fixes and stability improvements. By the way, the app could use some redesigning: it’s 2014 and it still doesn’t use the new iOS 7 keyboard!

Office Mobile for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)

Lory reviewed Office Mobile for iPhone and came away pretty unimpressed.

The app struck her as “an absolute renaissance masterpiece” and said Microsoft has “miles to go” before Office Mobile can even be uttered in the same breathe as other document apps. Her complaint was not so much about the features as about the Office 365 subscription requirements and the app’s reliance on the cloud.

Now that Microsoft has removed these hurdles, it’s become a whole lot more useful, don’t you think?

Download Office Mobile for iPhone free in the App Store.

iOS 7.0 or later is required.