It was hard to miss the iPhone 6 and iPad Air on stage during the beginning of Microsoft’s BUILD conference for developers. It turns out the Apple devices were used to demo a new feature coming to Office for iPhone and iPad called add-ins…
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Satya Nadella described Office as a productivity platform rather than a standalone suite of apps. Add-ins are apps or plug-ins you can run through specific Office apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Add-in examples include a version of Uber for Outlook that can remind you to request a ride before an appointment right in the app. Other add-in examples included support from SalesForce and LinkedIn.
These add-ins will run on Office for multiple platforms including Windows (of course), iOS, and Office Online. Once you install an add-in on a device, the same add-in will be available on each of your other devices so multiple installs won’t be required.
Microsoft described the add-in feature as coming soon for various versions of Office including iPhone and iPad (and presumably the upcoming Office 2016 for Mac, although its currently in preview). Microsoft also announced a new cross-platform code editor for Mac today.