As soon as the iPad came out, people were asking when they can get Microsoft Workplace on their device. “It’d be the best thing ever!” they all said, and then they waited. And waited. And waited.

Today, Microsoft Workplace is still not readily available on the iPad, but now it’s on the iPhone– a minimum of if you are a Workplace 365 subscriber. Does the Office Mobile experience hold up on the smaller sized gadget or is it simply a fallen short effort? Let us talk it out over break.

A Little Background

Before we explore all the things inside of Office Mobile, it’s necessary to keep in mind that the official name of the product is Office Mobile for Workplace 365 Subscribers. That implies that if you wish to utilize this app at all, you’ve to register for a Workplace 365 subscription. Now I don’t have that, so I contacted Microsoft’s PR company and they transferred me a trial variation that I can use for the review. Assuming you do not have a subscription, you’ll have to get one yourself, and how you feel about the price depends on your standpoint.

It's weird how they know exactly what I am wearing.

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It’s unusual how they understand exactly what I am using.

Office 365 is $99.99 a year for the House Premium strategy, that includes software for both Windows and OS X installs. How you make use of the subscription is up to you, however I can see why some would choose this instead of by the applications themselves. If you are a heavy Office individual and have multiple computers, this can be rather the cost savings.

Moving Files Around

With the subscription ironed out, the next issue is how to get documents from your COMPUTER or Mac onto your iPhone. To do that, I utilized Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which also needed me to sign up. This is Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox, and my dad (a Microsoft licensed developer) talks glowingly about the item. My experience was not so positive.

An Office 365 subscription is required.

An Office 365 subscription is needed.

I wound up installing SkyDrive on my Mac, and after dropping a few files of different enters there, I waited for them to appear on my iPhone. They didn’t. Ends up that the best method for me to get files from my Mac to the iPhone was via the internet interface for SkyDrive, makinged the transfer incredibly fast. Your experience may vary, however for me, the SkyDrive offer on the Mac was a loser.

These are your only options for getting documents into Office Mobile.

These are your only options for getting papers into Office Mobile.

With your Office 365 connection made it possible for and as soon as you are logged in, you can access all your files located at any one of three locations: the aforementioned SkyDrive, an Office 365 SharePoint or a SharePoint site. I did not have access to any of the latter 2, and honestly, it was a bit disappointing that I did not have other options, such as iTunes File Sharing or Dropbox. Not unusual, just unsatisfactory.

Your only export options.

Your only export options.

There are 2 ways to get the files out of the app. You can save them under a brand-new name onto your SkyDrive or other area, or email them off to your buddy (or yourself). No various other sharing choices are available.

The Look

If you are a fan of the Windows Mobile/Windows 8 experience, than this need to come off well. It’s a rather app, in that the font choices are quite good to look at and there’s a basic absence of textures and the like. Rather, it’s simple and simple to browse through, with mostly text guiding the means in a file system kind of organization.

That stated, there are no buttons, per se. Rather, there are small icons on the bottom of the screen for navigation, and drop-down windows when necessary. The app is spick-and-span and very pleasant to look at total.

File Formats– Or a Lack Thereof

Office Mobile works with any Workplace file, which is to say that it can view Powerpoint, Excel and Word docs right there on your device. And I expect the crucial word below is “view,” because it can not edit every one of those docs. Let me discuss.

Get used to seeing this.

Get used to seeing this.

In the Windows world,. docx is the preferred format for Microsoft Word docs, as. doc was reserved way back in 2007. However for Mac users,. doc is still utilized quite often, specifically when writing in something like Pages and exporting it to a Windows individual. And if you don’t make use of the Microsoft Office Suite on your Mac, then you may not even understand that. docx exists. Which brings us to our problem.

Even editable docs look weird on the iPhone's screen, and you cannot do much with them.

Even editable docs look weird on the iPhone’s screen, and you can’t do much with them.

You can not edit. doc files, nor can you modify. xls Excel spreadsheets, due to the fact that the. docx and. xlsx formats are the only choices that are editable (again, I am unsure on Powerpoint, as I do not have any Powerpoint docs). Because many of my docs are. doc format, that suggests that Office Mobile does not hold an entire lots of benefits for me. But you may be in a various situation, so if you do enjoy your. xlsx and. docx files, you now have an additional choice.

The Big Question

But all this boils down to one huge question: Why?

Because you really like spreadsheets?

Because you truly like spreadsheets?

Why’d you wish to edit or handle your Workplace papers on your iPhone? I can see the iPad as an option since of the bigger display and keyboard, however doing anything other than making fast changes to a document on your iPhone is a prescription for confined thumbs. Since there are limited means to obtain your files onto the app, you are limited on what you’ve the ability to modify. And since you just have certain kinds of documents that you can work on, that list is diminished down even further.

Again: Why?

Look, I compose all day long and I can see the appeal of the Workplace 365 system for both individuals and small businesses. For a reasonably reduced cost you get five licenses of the Workplace suite to install on several computer systems (Mac and PC), file sharing by means of SkyDrive and so on. However accessing these things on your iPhone must nearly be a last resort situation. Yes, you can do it, but should you?

Final Thoughts

To use Workplace Mobile you’ve to fulfill three requirements:

  1. Be a current customer to Workplace 365
  2. Have a SkyDrive account and/or access to a SharePoint
  3. Want to edit and/or read papers on your iPhone

This is clearly not the Workplace experience that most people want on their iOS device, which’s disappointing. Were it on the iPad, or if you can use the app similar to you’d the desktop computer variations, then I think that Microsoft might’ve something to work with. However considering that its use is rather limited, the requirements so restrictive and experience so cramped, it simply seems to miss out on the mark. Rather, it’s just an additional misstep in the long history of problems in between Microsoft and Apple users.

It’s a shame, since this might have been something special.