This Office app was not optimized for iPads — Microsoft finally tweaked it to include Apple tablets

iPad Pro 2020
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

iPad users are no longer excluded from the all-in-one Office app party. Previously, you could only run Office apps like Word, PowerPoint and Excel individually. Now, Microsoft has launched an iPadOS-optimized platform that consolidates all your favorite Office apps into one central hub.

Microsoft officially launched a unified Office app for iPhone users in February of last year, boasting that the new consolidated app will help conserve iOS storage. Now, iPad users will enjoy the benefit of storage conservation thanks to Microsoft's new all-in-one Office app.

iPadOS gets a unified Office app

Microsoft finally tweaked its all-in-one Office app to ensure that it is optimized for iPadOS. The new app combines Word, PowerPoint and Excel into one centralized hub. 

Though iPad users could attempt to run the iPhone-optimized, unified Office app on their Apple tablets, it was clearly not tailor-made for the iPad. "It always ran in a windowed mode instead of a fully optimized iPad app," The Verge said. Now, iPad users have full access to their favorite holy trinity productivity apps (i.e. Word, PowerPoint and Excel) with some new features.

"You’ll see additional tools to keep you more productive than ever. For example, you’ll be able to quickly create and sign PDFs, and transform pictures into documents," the app's "What's New" Apple App Store section states. You can also dive into image-based workflows easily by tapping "Share" in the phone gallery outside of the Office app to initiate actions such as Create PPT, Create PDF and more. Lastly, the Office app will offer to convert recently taken screenshots to PDF or PPT.

Apple has been touting the iPad as a laptop replacement for a while now, and lately, Microsoft has been putting in work to make Apple's vision a reality. Last October, the Redmond-based tech giant added mouse and trackpad support for iPadOS Office apps, allowing iPad owners to use Apple's Magic Keyboard to engage with photos, text and other objects in Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

iPad users might be a little late to the unified Office app party, but better late than never.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!