Microsoft brings Office to the iPhone – for paid subscribers only

14 Jun 2013

iPhone users will now be able to view and edit Microsoft Office documents from their smartphones with Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers, but use of the free app requires an Office 365 subscription.

Available in the US right now and rolling out internationally over the coming weeks, the iOS app lets users view and perform basic edits on Office, Xcel and PowerPoint files.

On starting up the app, users will be prompted to log into their Office 365 account or, if they don’t have one, they can sign up through the app. Apple gets a slice of all Office 365 subscriptions generated from the app, which could be as much as 30pc.

The new cloud-based Office suite stores users’ work to SkyDrive and syncs files across their numerous devices. This means when a user views ‘Recent documents’ on their iPhone, it can show the user whatever he or she was last working on at his or her computer, for example.

Office Mobile for iOS users can also access their SkyDrive folders, create new Word and Xcel documents and change their settings.


The app is designed to accommodate quick and simple changes to documents, which will then be synced across all devices. Formatting of documents remains intact and users don’t have to be constantly connected to make changes as files can be synced whenever a network becomes available.

Users will also be able to review comments in Word and Excel documents and add their own. The app is compatible with the iPhone 4 and beyond running iOS 6.1 or later. An iPad version is not in Microsoft’s plans as the Office Web Apps have already been designed for use on tablet computers.

Screenshots of Microsoft Office for iPhone

Screenshots of Office Mobile for iOS

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic