January Updates for Office 365 Include New Inking Capabilities, Much More

Posted on January 21, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Office, Office 365, Windows Phones with 0

January Updates for Office 365 Include New Inking Capabilities, Much More

Microsoft has announced a sweeping set of Office 365 updates that span the business and consumer versions of the service and impact Office 2016 for iPad, Office mobile apps for Windows, Office 2016 for Mac, and more.


Here’s what’s new.

New inking capabilities in Office for iPad (and iPad Pro)

A new Draw tab in the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote ribbon provides quick access to the product’s new and improved inking capabilities. But these apps also support instant inking now, meaning they actually sense an active pen so that you can start to ink instantly, without first selecting a control.


And thanks to an Ink to Shape feature, hand-draw shapes like circles, squares and arrows can be easily converted into perfect-looking shapes.


Real-time collaboration in Office Mobile Apps for Windows

Microsoft first brought real-time collaboration functionality to the desktop in Word 2016, but this month it is adding this feature to PowerPoint Mobile for Windows too. (Real-time collaboration also works in the Office Online apps.)

Real-time presence in Office 2016 for Windows

In addition to the feature add above, the desktop version of PowerPoint, or PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, is getting real-time presence, so you can see who else is working in the document and where.


Co-authoring and AutoSave in Office for Android (Preview)

Office Insiders will be able to upgrade to preview versions of Word and PowerPoint that support basic co-authoring and AutoSave capabilities. (This feature is already supported in Word and PowerPoint for iPhone and iPad.)

Morph in PowerPoint for iPhone, iPad and iPad Pro

Morph comes to PowerPoint for iPhone, iPad and iPad Pro, after debuting on Windows desktop and Windows Mobile late in 2015.

Morph and PowerPoint Designer in PowerPoint for Android (Preview)

Office Insiders will be able to upgrade to a preview version of PowerPoint for Android that supports both Morph and PowerPoint Designer.

Office Insider now available on Mac

Mac Office users can now join the Office Insider program for consumers, and gain early access to new features. Office Insider launched for other platforms back in November.


Given the broad scope of these releases, you may be wondering when you can download and install them. According to Microsoft, these features “will be rolling out across platforms over time as part of the regular updates available from Office 365.” The iPad and iPad Pro updates should be out now. And the other updates will be “rolling out to Office Insider participants for Office 2016 on Windows desktops, Office Mobile on Windows tablets, and Office on Android tablets in the coming weeks.”