Saturday, May 17, 2014

Microsoft Office For iPad Update Includes Printing Feature

After many public requests, Microsoft Office for iPad team released an update, which added Apple’s AirPrint support. This support enables users to wirelessly connect with printers and print out the documents they created on Office. This feature was left out when Microsoft Office for iPad was first released.

Apart from AirPrint support, this update includes SmartGuides for PowerPoint and AutoFit for Excel, which will improve the appearance of content and improve readability in both apps. While SmartGuides allow easy mobility of images, charts, etc around a presentation slide, AutoFit for Excel helps you adjust the height of multiple columns and width of rows at once.

Microsoft’s Office for iPad suite was released as three different apps: Word, PowerPoint and Excel and users will have to update each app separately using the Apple App Store. Microsoft Office for iPad is available as a free App on Apple App store but users require Microsoft 365 account to use this app.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription based software service suite which enables you access to various software and services. Initially released for business and corporate purposes, Microsoft recently launched a Personal plan for single users. Once subscribed, Personal users can avail a host of services, which include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access for non-commercial use on one PC and one Windows 8 tablet/Apple iPad, 20 GB of OneDrive storage, and 60 minutes of Skype international calls per month.

Microsoft was quick to release the update, considering this update was available for a mere thirty-three days after the public release on Apple’s App store. Soon after the release of the app, the design team had public interaction with netizens through Reddit. This interaction was aimed at getting feedback about the app.

During the Interaction, when asked to make the App completely free and remove the Office 365 license feature, Kaberi Chowdhury, a Technical Product Manager for the Office for the iPad suite said, “We believe that you get the best up to date Office experience [in] the Office 365 subscription”.

Microsoft app received moderately high positive reviews when it was released. It got twelve million downloads the first week itself, which is higher than what Microsoft had anticipated. Following this reaction, rival companies Google and Apple may release new updates or apps. Apple iWorks is free and preinstalled in all Apple devices and Google’s Docs (Also free) are available for download in Android App market.

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