The iPhone apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been redesigned with a new look that reduces the initial menu options from five to three. At least that’s what Microsoft is saying, though there’s no change in the apps so far.
According to Microsoft the apps are “Redesigned From Scratch: We have redesigned the app to be simpler, faster and more beautiful than before.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, in this case, simplicity isn’t always a virtue.
Word for iPhone v2.34 still with five tabs??
The apps had five tab layout (New, Recent, Shared, Open, Settings). Microsoft has dumbed that down to just three tabs (Home, New, Open).
Home – view recent documents
New – make a new document, blank or from a template
Open – open an existing document on the device, OneDrive or other cloud service
In other words, two commonly used options, Recent and Shared hiding from fast access.
This is typical Microsoft, making things ‘simpler’ for novice users at the expense of the many more knowledgeable customers. All customers have to use Microsoft’s ‘training wheels’ even though they are experienced ‘riders’.
Where is it?
This change is supposed to be in v2.34 of the Office for iPhone apps but it’s not there! See Which version of Office for iPhone do you have?
App Store announcement, note the version number at right.
Similar pop-up notice in v2.34
For all that, we can’t find this ‘beautiful’ new design in the apps themselves. We’ve checked with several Office Watch informants across the world, they all have the v 2.34 apps but still showing the five-button bottom row.
We wonder if this is a mistake by Microsoft, being a little ‘previous’ as the English would say. It would not be the first time.
Normally a change like this would be accompanied by a gushing blog post and other promos but there’s nothing. Just the “What’s New” in the app listing.
Presumably the three-button interface will appear sometime soon when the Office reality catches up with Microsoft hype.