Friday, June 14, 2013

Office Mobile for iPhone (with Office 365)

Microsoft just released Office Mobile for iPhone today! This is the long rumored application that Microsoft has been ready to release for quite awhile, but holding off until it could figure out how the purchasing would work with the Apple App Store. I'm not sure if/how they worked all of that out, but I do know that the app is free in the App Store and it requires an Office 365 Home Premium or ProPlus subscription. I already have a Home Premium subscription, so I was able to just click the button to sign in to my existing account and it worked. There is a button for those that don't have an Office 365 subscription, not sure where that goes, but I assume it will take you to the appropriate Microsoft page to buy the subscription (which is where the issues with the Apple App Store come in).

This app does not currently connect with Enterprise versions of Office 365, as I tried to log into my accounts provided by Microsoft for our User Group and my company and neither worked. The good news is that once you sign in with your Office 365 Home Premium or ProPlus subscription then you can add other sources for documents (called Places in the app) and from there you can connect to any Office 365 Enterprise account (using the Office 365 SharePoint option in the Add a Place screen) or even your Enterprise hosted SharePoint server (using the SharePoint option in the Add a Place screen).

The benefits to the Office 365 Home Premium subscription are huge the more computers that you plan to install the Office applications on to. You get 5 full licenses to the whole Microsoft Office suite for PC or Mac  and it will always be the latest version of Microsoft Office. Plus you get 20GB of extra space on your SkyDrive account, for me that bumped me up around 50GB total. You also get 60 minutes of Skype World minutes to use on a Skype account for calls around the world. And you get free access to all of these mobile applications that Microsoft is starting to roll out for all platforms. I think that it is an awesome deal at $99.99/year or $9.99/month.

For now it is only on the iPhone, but that is great for my use since I always have my iPhone with me and now if I need to do some quick edits or bring up one of the many Office documents I have on my SkyDrive I can view/edit them in the more familiar Office apps, instead of risking editing them on another app that might mess up the document. Hopefully in the near future this will also come out for the iPad, but at least for now I have it on the mobile device that I use the most.

For more information, here is the link to the Microsoft Office blog post about the iPhone app and the Microsoft Office 365 home page.

While this may not seem like it is a Microsoft BI related post, I'm hopeful that this will also lead to the Excel version on the iPhone doing all of the same cool BI stuff that we can do on the desktop in the near future! I'll let you know as I use the apps more if I find any of that or when those new features are added.