Office Mobile for iPhone and Windows Phone have the exact same functionality (gallery)

Office Mobile for iPhone and Windows Phone have the exact same functionality (gallery)

Summary: Microsoft just released Office Mobile for the iPhone and after comparing it with what we see on Windows Phone, the capabilities are the same. There is no advantage going to Windows Phone in this case.


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  • Create a new document: iOS vs WP

    Mary Jo posted about the iPhone release of Microsoft Office and then Ed followed up with a walk-through screenshot gallery. My first thought after seeing the release was that Windows Phone must still surely have the more powerful and functional Office Mobile application, it turns out I was wrong.

    As you can see in the following comparison screenshots, the iPhone version of Office Mobile offers the exact same functionality as Windows Phone. Performance is excellent on both platform, but the iPhone does a bit better when it comes to display performance as seen when performing actions such as pinch to zoom.

    While it is great to see an official Microsoft Office Mobile client for the iPhone, other applications are still more functional and powerful. I wrote about several Office alternatives and prefer Quickoffice Pro and the Apple iWorks suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote).

    Office Mobile for the iPhone, and for Windows Phone too, isn't really designed for you to create lots of native Office documents on your phone. However, the software is well designed for basic editing of existing documents without destroying the original document format and design. You won't find things like bullets and numbering in Word or original PowerPoint creation, but these things can be edited when you start with an existing document.

    I look forward to seeing if Microsoft offers an improved Office Mobile experience for the iPad where we have a larger display with external keyboard solutions.

    Note: A major difference between these applications is that Office Mobile for iOS requires an Office 365 subscription while Office Mobile on WP can be used to open and create documents without any subscription requirement.

  • Working with a Word document: iOS vs WP

  • Formatting a Word document: iOS vs WP

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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  • WP OS offers a better user experience

    The fact that iOS 7 is busy doing their best WP imitation tells me that WP is the better OS that's reason enough for me to get a WP.
    • They may have added some elements

      from windows phone 8 and android, but they are definitely not straight up imitating windows phone 8. This is coming from a former iPhone 4s user and current Lumina 920 user, so I'm not biased towards ios.
      Sam Wagner
      • true.

        But they take the same approach MS took 3 years ago. Its a win for Microsoft no matter how you spin it...
        Emmanuel Fransson
    • Apple isn't using

      Ugly static squares.Nor does the font cause letters to run off the side of the screen.
      Those are hallmarks of "Metro", or as it was previously know, Kin, and zune OS
      Troll Hunter J
  • Microsoft Slowly Bowing To The Inevitable?

    Glad to see the Office division is finally being allowed to make at least some decisions purely on whether they make business sense or not, rather than whether they help prop up the Windows hegemony or not. This should go some way to maintaining Microsoft's profit margins as the Windows business declines.

    Of course, they need to speed up the process. An Android version needs to come out soon. Otherwise they're throwing away the chance to establish a foothold on the fastest-growing platform in the world. Does Microsoft want to go the way of other once-dominant companies that failed to adapt, like WordPerfect, Lotus, Ashton-Tate, MicroPro?
    • Slim chance of that happening

      Incidentially, the Windows business isn't declining, it is actually growing.

      Android isn't that relevant, especially not in the enterprise, therefore releasing a mobile version of Office on Ios makes much more sense.
      • Not

        Android is very relevant being the top dog in market share. I don't know what you are on. I think because of the fragmentation though, Office would be a little harder to implement successfully. Every Android device out there uses their own drivers for this and that and you'd have to tailor to each device.
        • Yes they are the top dog

          In the enterprise (which is what I specifically talked about) Ios has the upper hand. Android tablets are almost completely absent in the enterprise, yet ipads are all over the place.
        • You just short down your own argument about Android being relevant.

          Fragmentation is an issue as you mentioned. Which Android build does Microsoft target with Office? The latest Android build or the one that was released in 2010, Jellybean. The majority of Android users are still on a OS that was released back in 2010! And In a few more months there will be another new Android OS that gets released continuing the fragmentation cycle.
          • They'll cope ...

            ... just like the developers of the 75 apps that I have installed on both my Android phone (4.0) and tablet (4.2.2). In fact, most of the apps I had on my phone before I upgraded it to 4.0 just carried on working fine.
      • Re: Incidentially, the Windows business isn't declining, it is actually gro

        Tell that to HP and Dell.
        • Right

          These are OEM's. Not all Windows licenses are being sold using this channel. Inicdentially Lenovo is doing a roaring trade, or so the story goes. Fact of the matter is that the Windows division is on the up.
          • Re: Inicdentially Lenovo is doing a roaring trade, or so the story goes

            Lenovo and who else?
          • OEMs are bad!

            Isn't this what we are told for over a year by Microsoft? All the blame that people do not want Windows anymore falls on the OEMs, that is. It is OEMs who were not able to push enough convincing new designs.
            It is OEMs who were not able to match devices like the MacBook Air, for years, despite both Intel and Microsoft providing of course better building blocks that Apple uses... or not?

            OEMs are bad, Microsoft are your savior.

            Lenovo... did you know that Lenovo is an government-supported Chinese company?
    • Revenues

      Well since Microsoft are making money out of a good proportion of Android devices through their patent leverage, why not take a slice of the Apple pie?
      In time, that version will be left to have slower/longer update cycles and Windows Phone will get the best stuff first ... Microsoft aren't bowing, they are ratcheting up the pressure.
  • Pretty key difference

    The Windows Phone version doesn't require an Office 365 subscription. It is happy using the free SkyDrive for document management. The iPhone version requires an Office 365 subscription. Far-be-it from there being no difference, I'd call that a pretty big one.

    On a related note, realising that OneNote is a separate app to Office on Windows Phone and iPhone, but OneNote on Windows Phone is far superior to the iPhone version. Many IT consultants I know spend a large proportion of our professional lives in OneNote, and the OneNote app can be a compelling reason to go with Windows Phone over iPhone.
    • I'm as big a OneNote fan as they come

      But I just don't see someone making a several hundred dollar cell phone choice over it, particularly as I just don't see the big differences you seem to. Besides, EverNote is the leader in this category and iOS has the strongest version of that.
  • They need to improve the WP8

    version. The iOS version looks more usable to me.
    • agree

      The live tile concept is interesting to me but Windows 8's grid of coloured squares for both folders and files make no sense at all. Just a waste of real estate. The look of the "formatting" windows (i.e. colour font) makes no sense either. I'm an iOS users (probably for life since I'm so reliant on their ecosystem). I'm happy that iOS is pulling in the best aspects of other OS's to add to a rich ecosystem, but that File and Folders concept needs to be thought out better in Windows 8 to be useful.
      • while i think wp8

        Needs to improve let's not forget. Apple has nothing to do with either version. This is all Microsoft and I am sure improvements are coming.