Edit Microsoft Office docs on your iPhone and iPad for free

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Edit Microsoft Office docs on your iPhone and iPad for free

Microsoft hints that an Office 365 subscription is needed if you want to use "premium features", but it isn't clear which they are.

Microsoft released iPad apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint earlier this year, but they weren't a lot of use unless you were an Office 365 subscriber as all you could do is view existing documents. 

That's now changed, as newly-released versions of the three apps allow non-subscribers to create and edit documents. Microsoft does hint that an Office 365 subscription is still needed if you want to use "premium features" of the Office apps, but it isn't clear which they are.

A big part of the announcement was that the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iOS are designed to work on the iPhone and iPod touch, and Word features the new Reflow View to make it easy to read the text of the document on a small screen.

Another much requested feature is support for Dropbox. Even though Microsoft has its own OneDrive cloud storage service, it seems customer demand for Dropbox support was just too great to ignore.

In June, BIT reported that Office for Android would appear before a touch version of Office for Windows, and Microsoft's latest announcement bears that out.

Users of Android tablets have been invited to join a preview program to try out Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android. These apps will be available to the public in "early 2015" but there is no real indication of whether or not the release versions will run on Android smartphones as well as tablets. Given the history of Office for iOS, our expectation is that they won't, at least initially.

Office for Android will allow the creation and editing of documents according to Microsoft.

As for the "touch-optimised" version of Office for Windows, the message was little more than 'we're working on it.' But since the company is now talking about Office for Windows 10, that pretty much confirms that it will appear after Office for Android, because Windows 10 isn't expected until mid to late 2015.

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