Microsoft has let it slip that Microsoft Office will be coming to iOS devices soon as a couple of  support sites had displayed references for the same. The names ‘Office Mobile for iPhone,’ ‘Excel for iPad,’ ‘Lync for iPhone’ and ‘PowerPoint for iPad’ had all featured on French and Romanian Office support pages, a report by The Next Web states.

These references were swiftly taken down and when one moseys down to those sites now, it appears that it was never there to begin with. However, this is some pretty solid indication that the iOS version of Microsoft Office could be coming soon.

Office for iPad

Office for iPad

There have been a host of rumours and speculation surrounding an official Microsoft Office app designed for iOS and Android devices. In November, a report by The Verge revealed that a dedicated Microsoft Office app called Office Mobile will be coming early next year for these two platforms.

The report by The Verge cites several sources who are close to Microsoft’s plans. The sources state that Office versions designed for iOS and Android will arrive early next year.

Office for iOS referenced a number of places

Office for iOS referenced at a number of places

The report states that the apps for both platforms will come free of cost and enable users to view Microsoft Office documents on the go. It also states that like SkyDrive and OneNote apps, this upcoming Office Mobile app will require the user to have a Microsoft account.

When the app makes its debut, it will allow Microsoft account holders to access basic viewing functionalities in the app such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. However, if one wants to access editing functions from the Office Mobile app, one would require a subscription to Office 365.

The report notes that iOS users will have the option to purchase an Office 365 subscription from within the app or let organisations distribute codes to enable editing in Office Mobile. Commenting on this, the report states, “The apps will allow for basic editing, but we're told this won't go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.”

Sources have informed the website that Office Mobile will first land on iOS devices in late February or early March and on Android devices in May. The tech website contacted Microsoft and it provided a statement, which read, “Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”

For those who cannot wait to use Office Mobile, there are other noteworthy applications such as CloudOn. The app has recently been updated and available worldwide through Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play. Now anyone with an iPad or Android tablet can create, review, edit and share documents using the app.

With the latest update, version 2.5 delivers new features aimed at improving individual and group productivity; it also assists in saving time. New features include:

  • CloudOn FileSpace: The FileSpace keeps users up-to-date with a real-time activity stream that supplies necessary context around any document, including comments, edits and notifications. It is already available for iOS and will be coming soon to Android.
  • Annotations: Users can add graphical notes to any item in Word, Excel or PowerPoint with a single tap. These annotations are saved in the document and will be displayed when the document is shared with others whether it is opened in the CloudOn workspace or not. Like the previous feature, this is already available for iOS and will be coming soon to Android.
  • Universal Language Support: CloudOn version 2.5 includes enhanced keyboard support for all languages and alphabets in Microsoft Office documents. It is already available for iOS and Android devices.
  • Improved, touch-friendly ribbon: The ribbon for Office applications is optimised for touch-based tablet use and makes the user experience simplified across editing functions including selecting fonts, aligning text, spell check and track changes. This feature is available for iOS and Android.

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