First Look – Office 365 on iPhone

Business Speak

Late last week Microsoft broke bread with Apple when its Office 365 application was released on the Apple App Store (read our

blog here for the back story). Here is my experience thus far using the application.

Note: Click on the accompanying image for a quick video on this new app.

First, I visited the App Store and easily found the application by searching on “Office 365” and started to download the app. But, I hit my first showstopper when the iPhone notified me: “UPDATE REQUIRED: This app requires iOS 6.1,” which I did for the next 15 minutes. The iOS 6.1 upgrade provides the operating system upgrade required to run certain apps such as the Office 365 application. Interestingly, the first thing I noticed differently about running under iOS 6.1 was that “Amber Alerts” are automatically turned on along with government alerts; I immediately received a notice about an abduction in Kalispell, MT, (along with an automobile license plate number to watch out for).

One lengthy iPhone reboot later, and I was able to restart my Office 365 application installation. Upon launching the app, I was prompted for my authentication credentials and then seamlessly connected to my Office 365 account. The initial screen for the Office Mobile application (the real name for the Office 365 app) provides simplified versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. But, the real power comes in when you open your SharePoint team site “in the cloud.” We call it “CompanyWeb” to honor our Windows Small Business Server (SBS) past.

As you can see in the video, I have the SMB Nation team site displayed on my computer monitor, and I have a real-world document (a sales proposal) displayed on my iPhone. It’s the “same” document and is now accessible on my family of devices. How cool is that? I can work on a boat or a ski slope from my iPhone. Granted – using the Office Mobile application isn’t realistic for hard core work habits but it is great when you need a quickie!

The timing couldn’t be better for the Office Mobile app. At SMB Nation, we’re using the summer to revisit our SharePoint habits. Each week in our staff meeting we now have SharePoint training and have already started using the calendar and help desk features more than in the past. We are also just starting to upload our documents into the Shared Documents library. And I’m learning a hell of a lot about SharePoint “granular” security as I optimize the Shared Document corpus.

So I end with this: GREEN LIGHT! Go ahead and download and use the Office Mobile app today. More updates later as I get more acquainted with the app.