The official Microsoft Office blog announced yesterday that Office 2013 Web Apps are now out of the preview phase, and have been rolled out to SkyDrive and Outlook. The apps comprise Office tools such as the Word Web App, Excel Web app, PowerPoint Web app, and OneNote Web App. Microsoft used feedback obtained from around 750,000 users participating in the preview that started in July this year to modify and tweak the apps into the new versions.
The Microsoft blog reveals that the apps are compatible with Internet Explorer 10, Windows 8, and iOS 6.
With the new release, Office Web apps brought the availability and convenience of the cloud — SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution — to Microsoft Office tools. Apart from giving the apps a facelift, Microsoft has incorporated many features and enhancements in them. The blog post states, “And in this release we've focused on adding editing and formatting controls, consistent co-authoring/collaboration support across the web apps and expanded device support, including touch-friendly editing from tablets.”
Accessing files saved under previous versions in SkyDrive or Outlook causes the message, “We're converting your file so you can edit it. Click version history to find your original file.” to be displayed. New files are created in the Office 2013 Web Apps version.
The Word Web App, the word processing app out of the pack, offers high-fidelity images and a new feature for users to add and view comments to the documents. There are many formatting and design improvements in the new version such as obtaining the word count right from the browser, image tools, and tools for setting the page layout.
The app for spreadsheets, the Excel Web app, now supports the added functions of merging cells, auto-fitting columns, determining an AutoSum. Also, you can now use the new features — context menus, formula assistance, and fill handle. To visualise data present on the spreadsheets, the app now supports high-fidelity and 3D charts. It’s now possible to rename and add sheets, and opt to print from the browser.
Microsoft Office 2013 Excel Web App
The new version of the PowerPoint Web App supports audio and video playback on slides displayed using a PC, tablet or phone. It provides for collaborative creation and editing of presentations by supporting co-authoring and viewable comments. Other new features include full transitions, high quality slides and the ability to insert images, apply transitions and animations and add a pre-designed theme to the presentation.
Finally, the updated OneNote Web App, makes it easy to search your notes within a section or on the entire page. Your photos, tags and notes can be shared as a URL. You can click anywhere on the page to add content.
Microsoft Office 2013 OneNote Web App
Read more about the revamped apps at the official blog of Office Web Apps Principal Program Manager, Mike Morton.