(USA Today) -- Microsoft Office is finally coming to the iPhone but you'll need an Office 365 subscription to take advantage of Office Mobile on Apple's handset.
The app, which is meant to complement Office on a personal computer, lets users access, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the iPhone, or create Word and Excel docs (but not PowerPoint docs) from scratch on those handsets. The app includes Word templates for an Agenda, Outline or Report, and Excel templates for a Budget, Event Schedule and Mileage Tracker.
Microsoft says that as you apply edits on the phone, or add comments, all the formatting and layout changes you make remain intact when you return to the document on a PC or Mac. You can review comments made by others on the phone. And you can review Office documents you receive as email attachments.
Files can be saved in the cloud on Microsoft's SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro. From the app you can send files off as attachments. Office content can be cached locally on the phone.
Microsoft has added tools to help folks run Office on the smaller screen. A Slide Navigator, for example, promises to let you page through PowerPoint presentations quickly. A Speaker Notes feature helps you practice presentations from the road. And a Resume Reading feature takes you the precise point in a document where you last left off on your computer.
Given the more diminutive screen size on the iPhone compared to a desktop PC or laptop, not every last feature available to computer users of Office will be available in the mobile version-there are no pivot tables, for example, in the mobile Excel.
Office Mobile for the iPhone is free but you'll need that Office 365 subscription, currently $99.99 per year (or $9.99 per month) to use Office on up to 5 PCs and/or Macs. The iPhone installations do not count against the 5-computer limit, but you're limited to installs on just 5 iPhones. If you don't already have an account, you can purchase an Office 365 subscription from within the app.
Office Mobile has been available now on Microsoft's own Windows Phones for years, of course, but not on rival mobile platforms until now. Certain third party apps helped fill the void for people who needed to deal with Office files on the iPhone, including the QuickOffice app that is now owned by Google.
For now Microsoft isn't releasing separate versions of Office Mobile for the iPad, or for that matter, for Google's Android mobile operating system. But you can use an iPad to access Office Web Apps