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  1. Microsoft rolls out dark mode for the unified Office app on Android Microsoft has begun rolling out dark mode for the unified Office app on Android. The theming option for the app was spotted earlier this year and is now being made available to all users, bringing to the app a feature that the Redmond firm says was “highly requested”. Interestingly, there is no word on whether the update with the theming option is heading to the other productivity apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The company has been offering the option of a dark mode on Outlook and OneDrive for Android users. However, the popular mode is yet to be introduced to other Office suite of apps on the platform, though they have been available on iOS for a while now. With the option now rolling out for the unified Office app, it might not be long before the firm rolls out the features for the individual offerings. Just like with Outlook, the app automatically switches to dark mode depending on the system preference. However, users can head into settings to force the app into light or dark themes, if required. What seems to still be missing is the ability to apply the theming option to the canvas on documents, which means that Word documents will still have a bright canvas. This feature is currently being tested for the desktop in the Office Insider builds and might show up soon for the mobile versions. Microsoft announced its plans to introduce dark mode to its Microsoft 365 suite of apps back in 2019. Since then, the firm has not only been rolling out the popular setting to mobile apps, but also to the web versions, such as for OneDrive on the web. Source: Microsoft rolls out dark mode for the unified Office app on Android
  2. Office app on Android now supports voice recordings with transcription Microsoft's Office app for Android is getting a new feature today - the ability to record voice captures with live transcription. The update only seems to be available for users enrolled in the beta program on the Google Play Store, and it comes with version 16.0.14026.20172 of the app. Voice capture is a fairly straightforward feature. You can access it from the big "+" icon at the bottom of the app screen, and from there, you can simply start recording by tapping the microphone button. Recordings are transcribed live by default and can then be saved in audio format along with the transcription. The app can also recognize different speakers and separate the dialog for each speaker in the transcription. Should there be any errors in the transcription, it's also possible to edit the text after the fact. This feature seems to build on the work Microsoft has already done on voice-related features, such as Transcribe for Word, which launched last summer. The Office mobile app has become a hub for many of Microsoft's smart Office features, too, making it an increasingly versatile tool. The app first launched last year and in addition to bringing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint together, it integrates tools like Microsoft Lens (formerly Office Lens), Forms, and local wireless file sharing. It can also access your sticky notes and open PDF files. If you haven't yet, you can download the Office app for Android here, and there's also an iOS version available on the App Store. Source: Office app on Android now supports voice recordings with transcription
  3. Office app for iOS adds the ability to merge PDFs and more for Insiders Office Insiders on iOS are getting a handful of new capabilities for the unified Office app as well as PowerPoint with the latest updates to the apps, which bring them to version 2.49. The unified Office mobile app has the most news, starting with the ability to merge multiple PDF files, either those stored on your phone or in the cloud. You can merge PDFs from the Actions menu, from the Most Recently Used list through the triple-dot button, or by selecting Merge from the menu while a PDF file is open. Another addition to the Office app is a new Shared view on the home screen, so you can more quickly find files that were shared with you but that are saved on someone else's account. This change also recently rolled out to the Office app on Android, though Microsoft hasn't made any mention of it in its changelogs. Finally, there's a new Read mode, which is now the default when opening documents. The goal is to prevent accidental changes to documents if you're just trying to read them on the go. As for PowerPoint, there's only one new feature, and that's the ability to select multiple slides in a presentation. You can tap and hold on the first slide you want to select, then tap all the subsequent ones. These Insider builds are usually previews of next month's update for general users, so if you don't want to join the preview program, you can just wait a little longer to try them out. Otherwise, you can sign up for the previews using the TestFlight app, assuming there's still space for you, since TestFlight programs are limited to 10,000 testers. Source: Office app for iOS adds the ability to merge PDFs and more for Insiders
  4. Redesigned Office app for Windows reportedly rolling out to some Insiders Back in July, a redesigned Office.com homepage began rolling out to business users. The revamped UI brought a vertical pane on which the Office 365 apps were pinned, along with more screen real estate for viewing recent files and documents. Now, it looks like the redesign is being made available to more users running the Office app on Windows. A Microsoft 365 Roadmap listing suggests that the redesign is expected to be rolled out to all users, both for Office.com and the Office app on Windows in September. Considering that the targeted release is this month, it is likely that the update will begin to make its way to more insiders sooner than later. Additionally, the update is supposedly enabled via a server-side switch, meaning that the change is not tied to any specific app updates from the Microsoft Store. Image credit: WindowsBlogItalia The new design comes with a few new elements such as a vertical list of icons for launching apps, the ability to create a new document and view a list of recent Office and OneDrive files in the Recents view. While business users can also view SharePoint pages and files from their organization, it is not clear what other features are making it to the app and web portal for consumers, other than the list of recently accessed documents. Source: WindowsBlogItalia Redesigned Office app for Windows reportedly rolling out to some Insiders
  5. The AchieVer

    What is the new Office app for?

    What is the new Office app for? Getting back to what you were doing and finding out what documents you ought to be looking at sounds very much like putting SharePoint on every device. Windows 10 used to include an annoying little app called Get Office (designed to help you install Office) that was installed even if you already had Office installed, couldn't be uninstalled completely without running a PowerShell command and popped up adverts for the latest version of Office if you were using an older version. This evolved into the much more useful My Office app, which is more of an Office hub rather than a way to easily install the Office apps on a new PC or smartphone. Over the course of 2019, that in its turn is getting replaced with the Office app, which will come on new PCs and at some point automatically replace My Office on a Windows 10 PC. That's probably going to be when 1903 is installed, as the latest Insider builds enable the new app. If you want to try it out, you'll need to be on the Insider Fast Ring with at least build 18317 installed. If you can't find the Office app in the Start menu, install the My Office app from the Store and you'll get the new version. So, what's the difference? You can customise the Office app with the existing online themes. Image: Mary Branscombe/TechRepublic Get back The new Office app is inspired by the hub at Office.com, where you can find all the Office web apps in one place, along with documents you've had open recently from OneDrive (and for commercial Office 365 users, a list of SharePoint sites and folders you've used recently in OneDrive for Business). Both of those are useful: 'word.com' and 'excel.com' don't go to Microsoft sites, and URLs like 'office.live.com/start/Word.aspx', 'www.onenote.com/notebooks' and 'sway.office.com' aren't particularly memorable (or consistent). Like linking to the official mobile apps, this is a way to ensure that users end up on the legitimate sites rather than phishing sites that might turn up in web search results. The Office web extension is another quick way to get to the most common Office Online apps (Office.com has a longer list) and recent documents. You can use the My Office app and the new Office app to launch the Office applications once they're installed (assuming you don't have them pinned to the Start menu or taskbar); again, it's always convenient to have a quick way of getting back to the last document you were working on, even if it was on a different device. It's certainly a better alternative to filling up your inbox by emailing yourself the most recent copy of the document. My Office has some other useful tools that will be in the Office app, although they're not all there yet. The home and business versions of Office 365 let you install Office on multiple PCs and Macs, and the account tab in My Office lets you see how many installs you've used up; that can save frustration if Office won't activate when you're setting up a new PC (and there's a link to the online account page where you can deprovision devices you're no longer using to reuse the licence elsewhere). You can also make sure the free Skype minutes that come with an Office 365 Home subscription are enabled and linked to your Skype account. Plus there are links to training and support, like the Office section of answers.microsoft.com. Source
  6. Microsoft confirms the end of support for Office Apps on Windows 10 Mobile Microsoft has already confirmed the end of support for Windows 10 Mobile and after 10th December Windows 10 Mobile devices will no longer receive updates. Unfortunately, Microsoft is also dropping support for first-party apps for Windows 10 Mobile. According to a post published yesterday (via Plaffo), Microsoft will be dropping support for Office Apps on Windows 10 Mobile on 12th January 2021. Microsoft noted that the Office apps include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote. After this date, Office apps will no longer receive security updates, free assisted support options or online technical content updates from Microsoft. This, however, applies just to Windows 10 Mobile users and other platforms including Android and iOS will remain unaffected. Microsoft also stated that the apps will continue to work past the end of support but won’t receive important security updates. Microsoft recommended users to switch to Android or iOS to get the latest updates and security updates. Microsoft is not the only company that is dropping support for Windows 10 Mobile apps. Last month, WhatsApp confirmed that it will drop support for the app on 31st December 2019. Source: Microsoft confirms the end of support for Office Apps on Windows 10 Mobile (MSPoweruser)
  7. 7 things Microsoft didn't tell us about the new Office app The new Office mobile app for iOS and Android is designed to help users complete 'microtasks' while on the go and combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Thinkstock Microsoft last week launched Office, a new mobile app for iOS and Android that the company slid into an already packed lineup of individual apps. Simply dubbed "Office," the new smartphone app — it runs on tablets, but Microsoft promised something skewed more towards them at a later date — steps back into time by combining multiple apps: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. (For those who rile at "OK, boomer," the concept smacks of early low-end suites, like AppleWorks or Microsoft Works.) Yet Microsoft touted Office not as a return to Work-esque days but as how it sees a future of mobile productivity, with tiny tasks squeezed into any available free moment. If Microsoft's right, Office may be a harbinger of feasible work on a smartphone or even small tablet. Edit a complex Word document on such a device? No thanks. Pick at it here, add to it there? Maybe. For all that Microsoft hinted at a revolution in the concept of mobile productivity, it gave a bare-bones walk-through of Office. It left a lot of details on the cutting room floor. Here are some of the things Microsoft didn't tell us about Office or, if it did, under-hyped them. We've fixed that for them. Remember the revenue-generating clause Like virtually all free-for-the-downloading bits built by Microsoft, the new mobile Office app is licensed in a way that completing only personal tasks is legal. "...you will not (and have no right to) ... use the software for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities unless you have commercial use rights under a separate agreement," states the app's licensing terms. In this case, "commercial rights" accrue from an Office 365 subscription assigned to the user by a user's employer. Consumer-grade subscriptions, including Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home, don't provide such rights. Those that do: Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5, as well as Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 (Office 365 is one component of the larger, more expensive Microsoft 365 bundle). Microsoft says it saves space, but how much, really? One of the ways that Microsoft has pitched the new three-in-one app is to claim it requires less storage space than the three individual apps it replaces. "It requires far less phone storage than installing individual apps," the company asserted in a Feb. 19 post to a company blog. Is that true? And if so, what is the difference? On the iPad, the app weighs in at 352.8MB, while the three apps, Word (265.4MB), Excel (264.9MB) and PowerPoint (247.8), total 778.1MB. In other words, the new app occupies just 45.3% of the space needed by the three individual apps. On the iPhone, the numbers are similar if not identical. The three-in-one app requires 361.9MB, compared to Word's 273.6MB, Excel's 273.2MB and PowerPoint's 257.4MB. The new app, then, needs only 45% of the space demanded by the three separate apps. The new app needs less than half as much space as the individual apps combined. That's "far less" in our book. Lens got rolled in Microsoft's Office Lens — which snaps and straightens images of things like receipts and documents — has been available for iOS and Android since 2015, but it has always been a separate app. Now it's also been embedded in the Office app, where it can be called on to "scan" paper freehand, then output the results in Word or Excel document formats, or as PDFs. Note: Lens is still available as its own app, just as are Word and Excel and PowerPoint. Individual apps aren't going away The Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on iOS and Android won't vanish, at least not immediately. "We will continue to support and invest in the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps," pledged Bill Doll, a senior product marketing manager, in a November post to a company blog. There was no promise by Doll that the support he spoke of would be permanent, however. Instead, he hinted at a Darwinian future for Office on mobile. "We believe everyone should decide which experience works best for them on their phones," he added. Office 365 subscription unlocks features Only at the end of the Feb. 19 sales pitch did Microsoft make mention of Office 365 and its part in the new Office app. "An Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription will also unlock various premium features, consistent with those in the current Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps," Microsoft said. A link in that sentence steers users here, where those "premium" features are listed for iOS and Android users with one of the qualifying subscriptions. Microsoft account required for online storage Although Microsoft said the Office app could be used without signing into any account, Microsoft's or otherwise, logging in is required to access OneDrive, Redmond's online storage service. A Microsoft account, free for the taking, comes with 5GB of OneDrive storage space. More storage can be purchased separately. Most users will have more OneDrive storage — at 1TB, much more — courtesy their Office 365 account (whether personal or provided by their employer). To access that, users will have to log into their Office 365 accounts. A host of non-Microsoft storage services — ranging from Box and Dropbox to RushFiles and ShareFile — can also be tied to the Office app with the appropriate credentials. Actions and microproductivity Microsoft made a big deal about how the new app would allow users to conduct "microtasks" and be "microproductive." "Microproductivity exemplifies meeting users where they're at: the modern world has increasingly fragmented work," wrote Jon Friedman, the head of Office design, in a lengthy post on Medium in December. "Instead of solely pushing people to focus more, however, we explored whether those fragmented slices of time could be more productive with 'microtasks.' A microtask is a bite-sized piece of a bigger task, like writing one paragraph instead of working on an entire Word document. Research showed microtasks increase feelings of productivity." Those microtasks, Friedman asserted, average just 20 to 30 seconds, tiny slices of the four hours or so a day people spend on their phones. "What are the most valuable actions that someone can perform on their phone in less than 30 seconds?" he asked. Some answers are in the new app's Actions screen, which — on the iPhone at any rate — listed a handful of tasks Microsoft believes best suited for the device. Among them: scanning text into documents, documents into PDFs and tables into spreadsheets, all on the back of the smartphone's camera. Source: 7 things Microsoft didn't tell us about the new Office app (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  8. Microsoft’s new Office app arrives on iOS and Android with mobile-friendly features Even more mobile features are on the way soon Microsoft is releasing its new unified Office app for iOS and Android today, which combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single application. The software maker first started beta-testing this new Office app as a hub for all things Office mobile back in November, and now, anyone can download and install it. Microsoft has focused on surfacing some of the more mobile-friendly parts of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into quick actions that let you get stuff done on the go. All of the main apps are combined, meaning you can switch between documents quickly, scan PDFs, and even capture whiteboards, text, and tables into digital versions. Microsoft is also adding support for third-party cloud storage like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. Today’s release will also be available on Android tablets with “limited support,” and a fully optimized tablet experience will be available on both iPadOS and Android soon. While the initial feature set will be useful for quickly creating templates, scanning tables, and just using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files on the go, Microsoft has more mobile-focused features planned. Word dictation looks set to be one of the most interesting. You’ll be able to use Word within this Office app to dictate your voice into text. There’s even a voice command bar for adding punctuation like commas, question marks, and exclamation marks. Elsewhere, Microsoft is planning to make Excel easier to use on mobile with a new cards view. You’ll be able to view and edit data from Excel rows in a card view that makes it a lot easier to see on a vertical phone screen. Excel was designed with columns and wider screens in mind, and often, you’ll scroll across a dataset and forget which line you were looking at. This new card view helps improve that for people who want to edit and view Excel sheets on the go. The final new feature that Microsoft is planning for the future converts a simple outline into a PowerPoint presentation. “Often there’s just a bunch of bullet points or a bunch of ideas we start with,” explains Office app product manager Nithya Sampathkumar in an interview with The Verge. “So we said, ‘how do we make sure that work can get started on mobile?’ That’s the basis for create outline.” The new feature lets you write a presentation in bullet points or a brief outline, and PowerPoint’s Designer feature will transform it into presentation slides complete with a style and formatting. New Excel card view. New PowerPoint outline feature. These three new features won’t be available today, but Microsoft is planning to introduce them in the coming months. For now, you can download the new unified Office app for iOS and Android. Microsoft is still planning to keep the individual Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps available for people who only use the standalone versions, but this combined app is clearly where most of the new mobile-focused features will appear in the future. Source: Microsoft’s new Office app arrives on iOS and Android with mobile-friendly features (The Verge)
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