Saturday, November 8, 2014

Microsoft Office - Free Apps for iOS Devices

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Function: Word Processing, Spread sheet and Presentations
Rating: *****
Cost: Free, in app purchases for additional features

I know, these are not exactly marine apps, but they are very useful for anyone who needs to keep a ships log or keep track of finances or a parts inventory on a yacht. It is now possible to create and edit Office documents from all your mobile devices anytime anywhere. How cool it that?

On November 6th, new versions of Word, Excel and Power Point were released for use on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  These new updated versions are optimized to work on all of your iOS devices.

To get started download the apps from the Apple App Store. You will need to sign up for a free Microsoft Live account  to initialize the apps. Your live account provides access to your Skype, your Office 365 subscription, games, music and movies from Microsoft's participating stores. It also allows you access to all of your photos, videos, and documents on OneDrive. Your account consists of an email and password, plus your profile info, billing and payment details.

The prior version of the Office for iPhone was just a single app that let you connect with your Microsoft OneDrive. It lacked many of the document creation features of the new suite of apps.  The old version also required a subscription to Office 365 to do anything more than read. The new versions allows many of the basic viewing and editing features such as making edits to words, fonts, font sizes and font color. Making more complex formatting changes to documents and spreadsheets will require purchase of an Office 365 subscription.  The basic features will probably be good enough for most people for light everyday use.

The Office 365 subscriptions will run you $6.99 a month for a single desktop and mobile version. For $9.99 a month you get Office 365 for 5 computers and 5 mobile devices.  These in app purchases will be charged to your Apple account.  The subscriptions will automatically be renewed unless you turn off auto renew in your iTunes account.

With your free Microsoft Live account you automatically get 15GB of free space on OneDrive which is Microsoft's cloud storage service. This account allows you to save and open documents across all your devices.

These new apps have been designed specifically for use on the for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. They work seamlessly by adjusting to the screen size of your iPhone or iPad.

Word

Word documents now display nicely on your iOS iPad and iPhone. When you edit or create documents, you can be sure they will look exactly the same across all platforms including PC, Mac, tablet and phone. Word, Excel and Power Point all have the familiar Office look and feel.  The interface is very intuitive to use with all the common touch gestures. 

Features:

• Images, tables, charts, SmartArt, footnotes, equations 
• On your phone, choose between the real document layout or an easy-to-read layout.
• View email attachments and access Word documents from OneDrive, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint.
• Pick up from where you left off because Word knows what you were working on last, no matter what device you were using.
• Print Word documents to an AirPrint printer, with or without markup.
• Content and formatting are maintained across all your devices - PC, Mac, tablet and phone.
• Rich formatting including fonts, pictures, tables, charts, textboxes, shapes, footnotes and page layout.
• Track changes, add comments and work simultaneously with others on the same document.
• Word automatically saves your document, so you can rest assured that you don't lose all your work while you're on the go.
• Simply share your work with others by emailing a hyperlink, the file or a PDF.

Microsoft Excel

Excel is the most popular spreadsheet application and can be use to keep track of your spare parts inventory, finances and expenses while afloat.  I have built several spreadsheets for use on board to keep an inventory of all my storage lockers.  I never have to guess which locker or bin something is stored.

All of the new Microsoft apps allow the files to be save, emailed or exported to your Microsoft Drive or Dropbox accounts. Dropbox and Drive will automatically update the saved files on all your devices so you can work seamlessly from home or on the water.

Features:

•Formulas, tables, charts, comments, PivotTables, sparklines, conditional formatting .
•Excel spreadsheets look just as they do on your PC or Mac.
•View email attachments and access all your Excel spreadsheets from OneDrive, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint.
•Pick up from where you left off because Excel for iPad knows what spreadsheet you were working on last, no matter what device you were using.
•Print an entire Excel workbook, a worksheet or a selected range to an AirPrint printer.
•When you edit a spreadsheet, your content and formatting are maintained across all your devices – PC, Mac, tablet and phone.
•Use formulas, charts, tables, sorting, filtering, and more.
•A special formula keyboard lets you add numbers and formulas rapidly – much easier than with the standard touch keyboard.
•Excel automatically saves your spreadsheet.
•Share your work by emailing the spreadsheet, a hyperlink or a PDF.





Power Point

Power Point is great for making and editing presentations on your iPad or iPhone. It may not be very useful to most boaters but you may someday need to create a presentation of your recent travels to share with your yacht club or friends. Power Point allows you to make engaging and dynamic presentations for your audience. Power Point allows you to easily insert text, pictures, video or links to the Internet in your presentations.


Features:

•Themes, images, tables, charts, SmartArt, transitions, animations are all there, nicely formatted.
•PowerPoint presentations look just as they do on your Mac or PC.
•When presenting, see your speaker notes and use the built-in laser pointer, pens or highlighters to get your point across.
•View email attachments and access all your PowerPoint presentations from OneDrive, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint.
•Pick up from where you left off  no matter what device you were using.
•Print to an AirPrint device.
The apps are free so go ahead and add them to your devices.  If you find you need more features and options you can always sign up for the paid premium versions.  Who knows, if you work while you travel you may have a need to edit documents on the fly. These apps give you the freedom to do that from any of your mobile devices.


~~~~ Sail On ~~~~ /)

Mark



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