Microsoft yesterday released an all-in-one Office app for iPads that takes a new approach to Office on mobile devices that was previously available on iOS and Android for iPadOS. The app combines Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a number of mobile device-specific functions, including PDF management tools and a file browser.

A year ago, almost to the day, Microsoft Approved This update for iPhones and Android phones and the update have also been released on some Android tablets. As an iPhone app, it previously ran on iPads, but only in a kind of windowed mode. This new version has a full-screen tablet interface and supports various iPad multitasking functions.

Users can still download individual Word, Excel, or PowerPoint apps from the iPad’s App Store. The standalone apps and this all-in-one option seem to co-exist for at least a while as the standalone alternatives on the iPhone haven’t gone away.

Besides making the work a little more seamless between the three productivity apps, the main offering of the app is the “Actions” panel. In it, users can access quick icons to transfer files between devices, convert images to text or tables, sign or scan PDFs, convert PDFs to Word, scan QR codes and do a few other things. The full list can be found in the gallery above.

Users can access files stored locally on the device in the cloud via OneDrive or in iCloud.

The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store today. However, a Microsoft 365 subscription is required to access all functions.

IPad maker Apple has made significant software and hardware changes to make the iPad a fully functional desktop or laptop replacement, including forking iOS into a new, iPad-specific version called iPadOS. In our Reviews of iPadOSWe have found the operating system to be functional and even exceptional at times, but a lot of frustrations still remain.

Apple is expected to introduce a new iPad Pro in the next few months. With this hardware update, the company may add more productivity features.

Listing image by Samuel Axon

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