Microsoft’s Office offering for iPhones and iPads has exceeded 80 million downloads to date. That doesn’t mean everyone who downloaded the app kept it, but it does indicate a huge customer base using the IOS system. MS preview version (a fancy schmancy way of saying “let’s test this out and see if the public likes us after they try it”) for Android was greeted with very positive feedback and at the end of January, they took the training wheels off making it a full blown Office for Android – no more preview. You can go to the app store or google store and download a version to test drive it before committing yourself. Each copy of Office comes with substantial OneDrive cloud space so you can synch your files with your home or office computer.
Make sure you keep the app up to date to ensure you have the latest security patches. Patches will also clear up weird little glitches, such as last year’s pdf fiasco and improve the app’s performance. You have the option of saving to your existing DropBox account or OneDrive. Both work equally well. But here’s a tip: Choose ONE cloud service and use it as your main storage system. Don’t scatter your files across 3 or 4 cloud accounts or you’ll never find your files. I have a few customers who do this and it takes forever to find anything. Cloud is efficient, if you use it properly. I use OneDrive for my day to day work, and another account to backup files I can’t live without if catastrophe occurs and I”m locked out of my OneDrive account.
For those of you who pine for your old Outlook, you don’t have to wait. Microsoft released the full version of Outlook for IOS at the end of January, and a preview version for Android. Outlook has all the features of the MS version, including calendar synching and schedule sharing – essential features for the road warrior who is away from the desk. It also allows the user to customize it’s behaviour to improve useablity.
Neither Office or Outlook are free, contrary to what many believe. You can download the programs to test them out at no cost. But if you want to keep them, you have to pay your yearly subscription. The costs are reasonable for anyone who lives and dies by their tablet.