After what feels like an eternity of waiting, Microsoft has officially unveiled its Office for iPad app, bringing all of the functionality of Word, PowerPoint and Excel to the world's most popular slate. That means users can finally access their documents, spreadsheets and presentations on their iPads without having to deal with compatibility, formatting and other issues.
But that's not all Office for iPad brings to Apple's wildly popular tablet. You also get AirPlay and Siri integration, collaborative editing and slick touch-friendly image and object manipulation, all with the familiar Office look and feel you'd find on your desktop. Want to know more about these apps? Here are the top features.
Siri Voice Dictation
With Office for iPad you don't even need to use your slate's keyboard. Instead, you can use Apple's trusty digital assistant, Siri, to dictate what you want to write. Just make sure you still proofread.
Apple's AirPlay lets you share your iPad's display with any other AirPlay-enabled device. That means you can simply tap the AirPlay button on your iPad and immediately begin streaming a presentation to your office's giant AirPlay-compatible TV or projector. No muss, no fuss.
One of the biggest problems with opening a Word document with a different word processing app, such as Google's QuickOffice or Apple's Pages, is improper formatting. A chart created in Word may look like a jumble of letters and numbers in another app. But with Word for iPad, anything you write in Word on your Mac or PC will look exactly as it should on your slate.
Need to copy and paste a paragraph from one app to another? Office for iPad has you covered. You can now easily grab a chunk of text, image or chart from one Office app and easily drop it into another without issue.
If you're a business user or a student working on a group project, collaborative editing can be a godsend. With Office for iPad, you can easily view documents your coworkers or classmates are editing from their computers on your iPad and make changes on-the-fly. It's a simple touch, but one that should prove extremely helpful.
Moving an image or object within a text document can be extremely frustrating. Throw in touch-only controls, and things can get even worse. With Office for iPad, however, manipulating objects and images is easy thanks to the app's touch-friendly handles and wrap around text.
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.