Microsoft's Office 365 update: Now you get camera, pinning, ink jotting on mobile

Microsoft's Office 365 update delivers a host of new features to enhance people's experience on mobile devices.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

With the updates to Office 365, you can jot down notes on Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile on Windows.


Microsoft's February Office 365 feature update is all about mobile, bringing document pinning, ink jotting, and camera integration for Windows tablets, as well as Box integration on iOS.

Surface and other Windows tablet owners will soon be able to use a pen, finger and tools in the Draw tab to jot notes in Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile.

In other words, there's no need to print documents if you want to annotate them quickly by hand. The feature will initially be available to Office Insiders. Microsoft hasn't said when it will be rolled out to standard users, but presumably that will be soon.

Document pinning is also coming to Office 365 on Windows phones and tablets, which allow the user to pin documents or spreadsheets they're working on to a 'favorite docs' panel for easier access when they need to return to it.

There's also some extra hardware integration in the Office 365 update with users now able to use the camera on an Android or Windows phone and tablet to take snaps and then edit them directly in documents.

The feature is available for PowerPoint and will soon arrive for Word and Excel. Again, this feature is only for Office Insiders for now.

The new features are all part of Microsoft's effort to make Office on mobile "more natural, fluid and contextual" on whatever device a person has on hand, the company said.

The main update for Office 365 on iOS is integration with storage app Box, so that users can store Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in the third-party cloud.

Box is the first app to arrive as a result of a new partner program that enables real-time co-authoring to documents stored in third-party cloud providers, which so far include Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox and Egnyte. The feature was formerly only available with OneDrive.

Microsoft has also delivered a host of updates for Office on Mac, including the Morph 'transition effect' tool for PowerPoint.

Mac Office users can now also tailor commands in the Quick Access Toolbar, which was one of the tip requests Microsoft has received from Office Insiders. Microsoft is also promising faster and smaller update packages in coming months.

Finally, Excel gains a number of new functions, charts and sharing options that Microsoft has explained in detail in a separate post earlier this week as well as integration with Microsoft's Power BI analytics service.

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