Microsoft is out with a nice update to its Office for iOS suite today, adding 3D Touch quick actions to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users as well as promised Apple Pencil integration on the iPad Pro. The latest versions of the Office suite also changes how fonts are handled and improves document search on iOS.
Word, PowerPoint, and Excel each now feature 3D Touch shortcuts from the app icon on the Home screen when deep pressing with the latest iPhones. This lets you quickly create a new document, presentation, or spreadsheet as soon as you launch the app. If you’ve already got files saved with Office, you’ll also notice quick access to recently used files here as well.
Office for iOS is also taking advantage of iOS 9’s new Spotlight search feature, which lets you pull down or swipe to the left of your Home screen and search for files saved in Office. For example, you could quickly open a document called ‘School Report’ saved in Word when searching Spotlight now without having to first open Word.
And just as Microsoft promised last fall, the Office for iOS apps have been updated to fully take advantage of Apple Pencil input on the iPad Pro (or any touch input method on other iPads) with a new ‘annotate with ink’ feature baked in: “With the tools on the new Draw tab, use your pen, finger, or Apple Pencil to write, draw, and highlight.”
Finally, the new versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel all take advantage of the cloud now when handling fonts by allowing you to download additional fonts as needed versus taking up additional local storage. In addition to the shared features like Apple Pencil support, Spotlight search, and 3D Touch, PowerPoint also gains another new trick: the ability to apply the morph transition to multiple objects.
You can find the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPhone and iPad on the App Store for free. Office 365 from $6.99/month is required to fully unlock features including creating and editing documents on the iPad Pro. A free Microsoft account grants you read-only access to files. OneDrive was similarly updated earlier this week. Also check out this comparison of Office across the Mac, iPad, and Windows from today.
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