Microsoft today updated its suite of Office apps designed for the iPad and the iPhone, adding features to take advantage of the iPad Pro's Apple Pencil and the 3D Touch function in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have all been updated with the new tools.
On iPads, there's a new Draw tab that can be found in each of the three apps. The drawing tools in this tab allow iPad owners to use a pen, finger, or Apple Pencil to write, draw, highlight, and annotate various Microsoft Office documents. Hand-drawn shapes can even be transformed into customized shapes. Draw is limited to the iPad and not available on the iPhone at this time.
On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have new 3D Quick Actions that are accessible on the iPhone's Home screen. The Quick Actions let users create new documents or quickly open recently created documents. For all iOS 9 users, Microsoft Office documents will now show up in Spotlight search, making it easy to locate files.
All three apps are also gaining a new cloud font feature, which provides on-demand access to fonts. PowerPoint includes one additional new feature not found in the other updates, a Morph update that allows Morph to be used to move several objects at once.
- Annotate with Ink: With the tools on the new Draw tab, use your pen, finger, or Apple Pencil to write, draw, and highlight. (iPad only)
- 3D Touch: Use 3D Touch from the home screen to quickly create or open a file. (iPhone 6s or 6s Plus only)
- Fonts from the cloud: Download fonts on demand, when you need them.
- Spotlight search: Quickly find recently opened documents in Spotlight. (iOS 9 required)
All of Microsoft's Office apps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. Documents can be created and edited at no cost on most iOS devices, but unlocking additional tools requires an Office 365 subscription priced at $6.99 per month. Using the Office apps on the iPad Pro requires a subscription.