In a somewhat surprising move this week, it was announced that Microsoft will be partnering up with cloud storage company Dropbox to make Office on the iPad much more convenient for everyone. I say surprising, because Microsoft already owns Dropbox competitor OneDrive, which boasts a lot of the same features. Is Microsoft realizing the vast popularity of Dropbox, despite recently giving unlimited storage just a week ago to its subscribers?
You may recall I showed how to use the “Open In…” feature within Dropbox to open files in the Office apps on iPad. Now, there is no need to do that. You just have to sign in to Dropbox once on your device (iPhones work now as well!) and then you will have instant access to all the office files that are stored there. No need to ever migrate files to the less often used OneDrive.
This was a real pleasant feature for me, as a lot (if not all) of my work files are still MS Office files, and are in my Dropbox. I toyed with the idea of moving them to OneDrive, but now I won’t need to do that. All the PowerPoints that I have accumulated over the years, all the Word docs that contain previous lesson plans/assignments and unit plans, I can now “view” on my iPad.
Also,you can now make simple edits to your Office files on your iPad without having to subscribe to Office 365. I’ve just tried a few edits so far, and so far it looks like Microsoft has released many editing features to be available on the non-subscription version.
To take advantage of these new features, go to the App Store and update your Office Apps (Word, PowerPoint and Excel), or download them if you haven’t done so already. You will also need a microsoft account. Search for an old hotmail address and see if that will work for you.
With this move, Microsoft has positioned itself fairly nicely in competition with Apple’s iWork. People familiar with MS Office will likely remain with it, and, even without paying the yearly subscription, be able to do some work on their files on the iPad.
In the next few weeks, the Dropbox iOS app will also receive a neat feature. We will be able to make simple edits to our MSOffice files from directly within the Dropbox app! This is also big news. For those of us who already have a lot of files that we still use in our teaching, we can just make minor edits/updates to our files with ease.
Check out this official video from Dropbox:
Will you be checking this out? Are you a devoted Dropbox user AND Office user? Let us know in the comments!