As you may know, if you are regular reader of this blog, I’m an Apple user, but as my office solution, I prefer solution from Microsoft. Unlike Office 2011, which is, by the way, no longer supported on macOS Catalina, the current apps from Office 365 for Mac are great. Mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are touch-based watered-down apps, but still great. Also, with Office 365 you will get 1 TB of space on OneDrive, so this is another reason why to get Office 365 service. I use OneDrive for backups – alongside my external disks and my NAS – so 1 TB is a great bonus and it’s another layer of my backup system.
Desktop MS Office is great, but what about tablets and small smartphones? If you are using 27-inch monitor on your desktop like me, how to port desktop Office apps to small smartphones? This is not easy question even for Microsoft itself. It’s something like with mobile bank apps. On big desktop, just use Internet browser, but on small smartphones, it’s better to download mobile, touch and small screen-optimized app, even if bank offers responsive design of webpage.
Switching between apps on smartphones is not as productive and easy as on desktop, and in truth, it may even slow you down. So Microsoft asked itself if it would not be better if they just merge these apps. This looks great if you are often using mobile apps from Office package. Recent documents, latest changes, all within one app. On desktop, it sounds crazy, but on small smartphones (and tablets), this merge makes sense.
This will also reduce storage and RAM impact. You have no longer to install apps separately, which in many cases use shared libraries, just one mobile app. It will also reduce demand on RAM, because you don’t have to run three full apps.
But what about current mobile apps?
We know many people are probably wondering, what does this mean for the current mobile apps? In short, we will continue to support and invest in the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps. We are proud that millions of people use and depend on these apps every day and we believe everyone should decide which experience works best for them on their phones. However, we do encourage everyone to give the new Office app a try – we think it will change your expectations for what you think a mobile productivity experience should be.
New app is available for betatesting on Android. As for iOS, there is a limit of betatesters capped at 10 000 betatesters because of Apple’s limitation and it was full within few hours after announcement. If you are Android user and you want to try it, click HERE.