Office for the iPad is finally here. Microsoft is making the app available for all iPad users to view documents or display presentations free of charge, but to actually create anything, or do significant editing of docs on the iPad itself, you’ll have to pony up for an Office 365 subscription. That’s a bit of a mixed blessing, especially for app shoppers who would rather pay once and have an app for good, but it comes alongside some sunnier news for smartphone users, with word that Office for both iPhone and Android handsets is becoming free for home use.
That means that you don’t need Office 365 in order create, edit, or save documents on your smartphone; you’ll still need a Microsoft account, but you can create one for free if you’re not already set up. Previously, you couldn’t get any functionality at all without a 365 subscription.
If you plan on using either of these versions of Office to prepare files for business uses, though, Microsoft still expects you to pay up and get yourself an Office 365 subscription. That seems like a fair enough trade to us, though it remains to be seen if it will be enough to convince Android and iOS users to stray from Google and Apple’s own document solutions.