In praise of Microsoft Word for iPhone

Honestly, I used it on my iPad and I liked but there I couldn’t be bothered to switch to it as my regular writing tool. When it comes to my iPhone, I started the app and even having to schlep through a quite short login process made me close the app again. Doubtlessly the next time someone sends me a Word document to read, I’ll do the deed. But it is strange how I can recognise the benefits of Word, especially in its new iPad version, and appreciate how well done it all is, yet still can’t be arsed to use it.

A very long time ago now, I used to write for a company that used WordStar. You don’t remember WordStar. One morning we all came in and found that WordStar was gone. Completely. Through some deal or other, the company now exclusively used WordPerfect. And WordPerfect was so good, I don’t think it held up our writing in the slightest. It was just obvious how to use it and we did. Until one morning when another deal meant WordPerfect was gone and Microsoft Word was in.

That was a different matter. That was tough work. That was deadline-affecting work, that one was. So I did come to Word with a lot of annoyance and over the years I’ve gone through many stages. I can’t remember how long I used Word as my exclusive word processor but it was a long time and ultimately it was by choice: Word was doing things I needed. I even got to the point where I would read How to Bend Word to Your Will and enjoy it. Until I realised I’d rather be writing books than studying an Open University-level course on how to use this software.

Right now I’m in the mood where if Word is what opens when I click on a document, I’ll write it or edit it or continue it in Word. Otherwise, I’m all over the place. Pages. Drafts. Evernote. I haven’t got a home, so to speak, I haven’t got a default word processor I feel comfortable in.

Whereas this fella has Word and he loves it on the iPhone. More than I could think feasible, yet also very persuasively, too:

Longtime iPhone users have been waiting a long time for this moment, but now we finally have an excellent way to work with Word files on an iPhone. If a client or colleague emails a Word document to you while you are out of the office, you can now easily read and edit the document on your iPhone. And if you have your iPad with you, you can take advantage of the larger screen to work with the document. Either way, the Word app lets you do many of the same things that you could do with a document using the full version of Word on a PC or Mac, and perhaps more importantly, the powerful Word app lets you do just about everything that you are ever likely to want to do on a mobile device.

Review: Microsoft Word for iPhone and iPad — view and edit Word documents on any iOS device – Jeff Richardson, iPhone J.D. (7 November 2014)

Read the full piece for specific features that make Richardson happy – and happy enough that he even thinks the iPhone version scores over the iPad one in some respects.

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