How Microsoft changed mobile editing with iPad Office

Before Microsoft delivered an iPad version of Word my cross-device writing tool of choice was Information Architect’s iA Writer.

iA Writer scores on several fronts. Above all its simple design and its use of Apple’s iCloud means seamlessly moving from MacBook to iPad and back.

Recently Apple updated Pages word processor and delivered a decent iPad version. Like iA Writer, the iCloud integration makes for a smooth transition between the iPad and Mac.

Pages and iA Writer are fine mobile writing choices. They were better than Word. That’s no longer true.

Microsoft Word is the gold standard in my work as a journalist. Editors expect, even demand, Word format copy.

While it’s easy to write in Pages, iA Writer or any of a dozen other tools then convert to Word before sending, that’s not the best way of working. Some things get lost in translation. And anyway, my work often means dealing with incoming Word documents.

Sticking with Word makes sense even if you never leave the Apple world. Once you step outside Apple’s walled garden, it’s an even better decision.

Microsoft Word’s main rival is Google Docs. It works with every device and comes with its own cloud integration. It’s good for basic document creation and is wonderful for people wanting to co-operate on writing projects while working remotely.

Until now Microsoft Word dominated the old static, disconnected way of working while Google Docs was making the running in mobile, connected editing. There was a feeling in some tech circles that Microsoft Office was doomed because the software giant was becoming a dinosaur.

That’s changed.