Microsoft updates Office for iOS for easier, more secure sharing

Office for iPad

Microsoft released an update to its Office suite for iOS users. The new app updates for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint make sharing files easier and more secure, and the apps also feature better integration with Outlook.

The enhancements introduced will be welcomed by business users who need to collaborate on documents. For example: you can now open protected documents within the application.


You also don't need to run to the nearest PC to invite others to collaborate with you. From within Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you can invite others to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You can also grant different sharing permissions within the app.

Improved integration with Outlook will hopefully save users time when they need to edit or revise shared documents. You can send a document as an attachment from within Outlook, and you can also edit a document inside Outlook that's been shared as an attachment or as a link.

On the iPhone when you receive a new email in the Outlook app with a Word document attached, for example, you can either view the document in Outlook or open the document in Word for editing if you also have the Word app installed. With this feature, you don't need to leave Outlook and juggle apps. Once you're done editing, you'll be taken right back to the email message in Outlook.

It's free for iOS

The apps are available as free downloads inside Apple's App Store for iPhone and iPad.

In November of last year, Microsoft removed the Office 365 requirements to use Office on iPhone, iPad and Android.

Today, consumers are able to access most Office features for free, and business users will likely have to pay for more premium functions, including integration with OneDrive for Business and more complex editing features.

The freemium model is part of Microsoft's mobile first, cloud first initiative, and may help the company fight rival suites, such as the free iWork on Apple's systems and Google Docs.