If we had an iOS "general" forum, I'd place this there, but since we don't, I'm placing it here.
Microsoft released Office for the iPad (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) yesterday. Here are a few items of note:
(1) Until now, I've not known of any word processor on the iPad that would properly format a paper according to most academic style guide standards. Specifically, even Apple's own Pages still will not allow for a different first page header from the headers in the rest of the document. I loaded a student's paper into Word on the iPad and the first page header correctly remains different from the rest of the pages as one would want. In the Layout ribbon, there is a "Different First Page" setting in the Header and Footer settings.
In the past, I've seen students in my onsite classes write a paper on the iPad, then go to the computer lab before class, transfer it to one of the school's computers, fix the headers and then submit the paper. Now that Word is on the iPad, I don't see why a student couldn't write a paper from start to finish on the iPad, including proper formatting (as long as Hebrew is not involved--see point 4 below).
(2) From the perspective of a teacher, I'm thrilled to see that I can insert marginal comments in the iPad version of Word. I could easily envision loading up my iPad with a dozen student papers, heading to a coffee shop, and grading papers for a few hours. I've never been able to grade papers on the iPad because of no way to insert comments in addition to having to depend on another program like Pages to convert the file.
(3) Word for the iPad will allow insertion of footnotes. Pages on the iPad will only let you view footnotes created in the Mac version.
(4) The iPad version of the Office apps can store documents both locally and in OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). The navigation for opening or saving files in OneDrive is better than that in the OneDrive app itself.
(5) Not surprising to anyone who has ever used Word on the Mac, but I've discovered that Word on the iPad does not handle right-to-left languages (such as Hebrew) very well. I pasted Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew from Accordance and another app into Word for the iPad with the same results: the words are placed in reversed order although the letters of the words remain in the correct order. I've never had this problem in iWork Pages for the iPad, which generally renders pasted right-to-left languages correctly. Pasting Greek seems to work fine.
(6) I can't say I'm overly surprised, but the iPad version of PowerPoint is a bit disappointing compared to Keynote for the iPad, which I've used since the iPad was first released. PowerPoint for the iPad will not play video files, which I often embed in my slides. And oddly, although there is support for editing presenter notes (in a manner preferable to that in Keynote for the iPad in my opinion), there's no separate presenter screen so that I can see my notes during a presentation (Keynote has had a separate presenter's screen on the iPad for quite a while).
I'm not enough of a spreadsheet guy to evaluate Excel for the iPad, so I can't really compare it to Numbers. Nevertheless, I have no doubt it will be helpful for some to have a "native" version of the program so as not to have to worry about file translation in other apps.
Edited by R. Mansfield, 28 March 2014 - 03:05 PM.