Microsoft refreshes Office apps for iPad Pro, with an important caveat

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Windows giant Microsoft today released compatibility updates for its mobile Office app in the App Store—Word, ExcelPowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive—aimed at lucky iPad Pro owners.

Featuring full support for iOS 9’s new Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes, these apps now take full advantage of the iPad Pro’s massive 2,732-by-2,048 pixel resolution 12.9-canvas that in landscape mode basically runs two full-sized apps concurrently.

With Slide Over, pictured top of post, users can keep one of the Office apps open and open a second one by sliding their finger from the right edge of the screen to the left.

“You can easily review your email and add an important list to a OneNote notebook or create a sales presentation and quickly send an email to your team reminding them of the upcoming client pitch meeting,” writes the firm.

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iOS 9’s Split View multitasking mode, available on the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro, makes it easy to run two Offices apps (or any two apps that support Split View) in side-by-side view in landscape mode.

“For example, you can analyze your business results in Excel and update the corresponding chart in PowerPoint, so you can see your data and presentation side by side,” the company argues.

“Alternatively, you can review an email attachment and make the required changes to a related Word document right away. The changes are automatically updated in the attachment, so you’re ready to send in a single tap.”

Word, Excel and PowerPoint cost money on iPad Pro

Word, Excel and PowerPoint lets you view documents for free, but creating and editing documents on larger devices like the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s own Surface requires a qualifying Office 365 subscription—because Microsoft is treating larger form-factor tablets as laptop replacements.

The OneNote and Outlook apps are free to use on the iPad Pro.

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An Office 365 subscription lets you install Office apps on up to five PCs or Macs, access premium features and take advantage of 1 terabyte of free cloud storage via Microsoft’s OneDrive service.


Microsoft’s Office apps are compatible with any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad that runs iOS 8.0 or later and are localized in English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Get Word, ExcelPowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive for free in the App Store.