Microsoft Office Mobile
|Initial release||April 2000citation needed][|
|Stable release||15.0 / February 2015|
|Operating system||Windows Phone, iOS, Android|
|Platform||Smartphones and Tablet computers|
|Website||Office for Mobile Devices website|
Originally released as Pocket Office on Windows CE v1.0 Handheld PCs in 1996, the app in its present form is now available for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS  and was previously available for Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Core applications include Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. Other non-core Office applications, like Lync Mobile, OneNote Mobile, and SharePoint Newsfeed are available for download from mobile app stores.
Office Mobile originally shipped as "Pocket Office", and was released by Microsoft with the Windows CE 1.0 operating system in 1996. This release was specifically for the Handheld PC hardware platform, as Microsoft's Smartphone and Pocket PC hardware specifications had not yet been released. It consisted of Pocket Word and Pocket Excel; PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook were added later. With steady updates throughout subsequent releases of Windows Mobile, Office Mobile was rebranded as its current name after the release of the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. This release of Office Mobile also included PowerPoint Mobile for the first time. Accompanying the release of Microsoft OneNote 2007, a new optional addition to the Office Mobile line of programs was released as OneNote Mobile. With the release of Windows Mobile 6 Standard, Office Mobile became available for the Smartphone hardware platform, but unlike Office Mobile for the Professional and Classic versions of Windows Mobile, creation of new documents is not an added feature. A popular workaround is to create a new blank document in a desktop version of Office, synchronize it to the device, and then edit and save on the Windows Mobile device.
In June 2007, Microsoft announced a new version of the office suite, Office Mobile 2007. It became available as "Office Mobile 6.1" on September 26, 2007 as a free upgrade download to current Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 users. However, "Office Mobile 6.1 Upgrade" is not compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 powered devices running builds earlier than 14847. It is a preinstalled feature in subsequent releases of Windows Mobile 6 devices. Office Mobile 6.1 is compatible with the Office Open XML specification like its desktop counterpart.
On August 12, 2009, it was announced that Office Mobile would also be released for the Symbian platform as a joint agreement between Microsoft and Nokia. The first application to appear on Nokia Eseries smartphones was Microsoft Office Communicator. In February 2012, Microsoft released OneNote, Lync 2010, Document Connection and PowerPoint Broadcast for Symbian. In April, Word Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and Excel Mobile joined the Office Suite.
On October 21, 2010, Microsoft debuted Office Mobile 2010 with the release of Windows Phone 7. In Windows Phone, users can access and edit documents directly off of their SkyDrive or Office 365 accounts in a dedicated Office hub. The Office Hub, which is preinstalled into the operating system, contains Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The operating system also includes OneNote, although not as a part of the Office Hub. Lync is not included, but can be downloaded as standalone app from the Windows Phone Store free of charge.
In October 2012, Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Office Mobile for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8. This was followed up by the release of Office Mobile for iPhone on June 14, 2013, and Office Mobile for Android phones on July 31, 2013.
In March 2014, Microsoft released Office Lens, a scanner app that enhances photos. Photos are then attached to an Office document. Office Lens is an app in the Windows Phone store, as well as built in to the camera functionality in the OneNote apps for iOS and Windows 8.
On March 27, 2014, Microsoft launched Office for iPad, the first dedicated version of Office for tablet computers. In addition, Microsoft made the Android and iOS versions of Office Mobile free for 'home use' on phones, although the company still requires an Office 365 subscription for using Office Mobile for business use. In November 2014, Office was subsequently made free for personal use on the iPad in addition to phones. As part of this announcement, Microsoft also split up its single "Office suite" app on iPhones into separate, standalone apps for Word, PowerPoint and Excel, released a revamped version of Office Mobile for iPhone, added direct integration with Dropbox, and previewed future versions of Office for other platforms.
Office for Android tablets was released on January 29, 2015, following a successful two-month preview period. These apps allow users to edit and create documents for free on devices with screen sizes of 10.1 inches or less, though as with the iPad versions, an Office 365 subscription is required to unlock premium features and for commercial use of the apps. Tablets with screen sizes larger than 10.1 inches are also supported, but, as was originally the case with the iPad version, are restricted to viewing documents only unless a valid Office 365 subscription is used to enable editing and document creation.
On January 21, 2015, during the "Windows 10: The Next Chapter" press event, Microsoft unveiled Office for Windows 10, Windows Runtime ports of the Android and iOS versions of the Office Mobile suite. Optimized for smartphones and tablets, they are "universal" applications that can run on both Windows and Windows for phones, and share similar underlying code. A simplified version of Outlook was also added to the suite. They will be bundled with Windows 10 mobile devices, and available from the Windows Store for the PC version of Windows 10. Although the preview versions were free for most editing, the release versions will require an Office 365 subscription on larger tablets (screen size larger than 10.1 inches) and desktops for editing, as with large Android tablets. Smaller tablets and phones will have most editing features for free.
On June 24, 2015, Microsoft released standalone Office apps on Google Play for Android phones, following a one-month preview. Phones need to have at least 1 GB of RAM and run the 4.4 KitKat version of Android or later. The old Office Mobile suite app is still available on Google Play, targeted toward phones running a prior version of Android.
Applications and features
|This section is outdated. (March 2015)|
Office Mobile's core applications include mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. These apps are bundled together in the "Office Hub" on Windows Phone and Android phones, as well as on iPhones until November 2014. They support editing only the newer Office file formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), and can only view but not edit the legacy file formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt). Office for Android tablets and Windows 10 can process legacy Office and ODF files (.ppt, .xls, .odp, .ods, .odt) online to edit and open them.
Office Mobile integrates with OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service, as well as Dropbox. All documents edited from Office Mobile programs are automatically saved to OneDrive, and a list of recent documents saved to OneDrive appears on the home screen of the Office Hub. Office Mobile also includes a file manager that can be used to browse for Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files saved on a OneDrive account. In addition, Office Mobile can also open and edit documents saved on an Office 365 account.
Word Mobile is a word processor that allows creating and editing documents. It supports basic formatting, such as bolding, changing font size, and changing colors (from red, yellow, or green). It can add comments, but can't edit documents with tracked changes. It can't open password protected documents, change the typeface, text alignment, or style (normal, heading 1); create bulleted lists; insert pictures; or undo. Footnotes, endnotes, headers, footers, page breaks, certain indentation of lists, and certain fonts, while not displayed nor able to be inserted while working on a document in Word Mobile, are retained if the original document has them. In addition to the features of the 2013 version, the 2007 version on Windows Mobile also has the ability to save documents in the Rich Text Format and open legacy PSW (Pocket Word). Furthermore, it includes a spell checker, word count tool, and a "Find and Replace" command.
Excel Mobile is a spreadsheet program that can edit XLSX files. It can edit and format text in cells, calculate formulas, search within the spreadsheet, sort rows and columns, freeze panes, filter the columns, add comments, and create charts. It can't add columns or rows except at the edge of the document, rearrange columns or rows, delete rows or columns, or add spreadsheet tabs. The 2007 version has the ability to use a full-screen mode to deal with limited screen resolution, as well as split panes to view different parts of a worksheet at one time. Protection settings, zoom settings, autofilter settings, certain chart formatting, hidden sheets, and other features are not supported on Excel Mobile, and will be modified upon opening and saving a workbook.
PowerPoint Mobile is included with Windows Mobile 5.0. It is a presentation program capable of reading and editing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, although authoring abilities are limited to adding notes, editing text, editing text, and rearranging slides. It can't create new presentations. Versions of PowerPoint Mobile for Windows Phone 7 can also watch presentation broadcasts streamed from the Internet.
Microsoft OneNote Mobile was first released in Windows Mobile 6. Microsoft OneNote Mobile is included in the "Office Hub" in Windows Phone 7, but got a standalone application in Windows Phone 8. Still, it was listed in the Microsoft Office Mobile license as a core application. It features integration with Office Lens, an application that can capture whiteboards, blackboards, digital copies and documents on pieces of paper and allow users to edit them in Microsoft OneNote Mobile. Every note is automatically time-stamped and can be filled with words, pictures and recorded audio. It includes features like "to-do lists" but only has a limited option for formatting and layouts and includes no additional fonts.
Reception of Office Mobile for iPhone and Android in 2013 and early 2014 was mixed. Dana Wollman of Engadget felt that Office Mobile for iPhone had a "minimal feature set", better than Google Drive in some ways but "miles behind other office apps for iOS". David Pogue, reviewing for The New York Times concluded that the "non-Microsoft competitors are already far more useful." Joe Hindy of Android Authority was more positive, writing that it was comparable with competitors and it was worth checking out. He liked that Office Mobile was free, theoretically had better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, and had good design, but he disliked that there weren't advanced formatting tools and that Android tablets weren't supported.
Reviews of Office for iPad were positive, praising the additional features and beauty compared to other office suites on the iPad. Reviews for Office for Android tablets were mixed. Derek Walter of Greenbot criticized the non-instant saving but liked the full-featuredness. Sarah Mitroff of CNET criticized the requirement of having a Microsoft account to make edits. For the Windows 10 version, Barry Collins said "we’re largely underwhelmed by the Office apps on Windows. At best, they’re as good as the equivalents for iOS and Android. In some cases, such as with PowerPoint and OneNote, there's a lot of work to be done."
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Mobile Services#Office Mobile
- Pocket PC
- Windows Mobile
- Windows Phone
- Comparison of office suites
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