Microsoft improves integration between iOS Outlook and Office apps

Microsoft has just added deeper integration between their Outlook and Office apps on iOS devices. Up until now when opening a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint attachment in the iOS Outlook app, the file would render in a simple Outlook viewing window. This viewer provided a very limited experience for the user and lacked a significant number of features required for editing and collaboration.

With today’s update, clicking on a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file in Outlook will immediately open the file in its corresponding iOS app. Outlook will automatically display which Office apps are installed from within Outlook and if the required Office app is absent, a small notice will display with a link to the app in the iOS App Store.

Office and Outlook on iOS

Office and Outlook on iOS

One particular improvement, which will be appreciated by many, is the new streamlined open-edit-attachment workflow. Now with the updated Office apps, a user can open an attachment in Outlook, have the file immediately open within the relevant Office app, edit it there, then simply press the “Back” button to close the Office app, return to Outlook, and have the updated file automatically attached to an email to send to another collaborator.

Microsoft is quick to remind users that using OneDrive is the most efficient way to collaborate on projects but concedes that sometimes email is needed so they have also added a “Send with Outlook” option to the “Share” menu in each Office iOS app. They also realize that Android users are also in need of these new features and announce that they expect to bring them over to Android devices within the next few months.

They also reveal that OneDrive for Business support for Outlook on iOS will be coming later in 2015 which will add to the app’s current support for the OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and Box cloud services.

Do you use Microsoft’s Office suite of apps on an iOS or Android device? What additional functionality would you like to see come with future updates? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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