Microsoft 365 for consumers celebrates its first year

Just over a year ago, Microsoft announced consumer versions of Microsoft 365. Today, the company discussed several features it recently added to subscriptions.

Some of this is old, some is updated, and some is new. Here is the list:

Office for iPad. In February, Microsoft unveiled its comprehensive Office app on the iPad, providing users with “a simple, integrated experience that combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint into one application.”

Send emails and schedule appointments by voice in Outlook for iPhone. Outlook Mobile has had integrated Cortana features for more than three years, and Microsoft recently upgraded it with what it calls a “conversational AI” feature for sending emails and scheduling appointments with your voice. This is now available in Outlook for iPhone to anyone who has a free Microsoft account.

Copy handwritten notes using Microsoft Lens. Microsoft renamed Office Lens to Microsoft Lens back in February, and today revealed that it will add the ability to transcribe handwritten notes into English text. This feature comes in a standalone Microsoft Lens application, as well as Office, Microsoft Teams, and Outlook.

Add-ons Microsoft To Do for iPhone. Microsoft has been a bit slow to get out of the publishing widgets that work in iOS 14+, but it is making up for lost time and has released a few from last fall. The latest set of widgets is Microsoft To Do – Your Tasks, My Day and Add Task. They are now available to anyone who has a free Microsoft account.

Live Photos support in OneDrive. I think this is new: OneDrive now supports Live Photos created on the iPhone, which allows you to “play the full motion and sound of your Live Photos”. This feature is now available in OneDrive for iPhone to anyone with a free Microsoft account.

Money in Excel. This feature was announced a year ago and released last June, but now supports cash flow insight to help you monitor monthly expenses and the ability to manually enter transactions and account balances directly into cash in Excel. Money in Excel is now available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in the U.S. in Excel for Windows, MacOS, and the Web.

PowerPoint trainer leader. Announced way back in September 2019. PowerPoint Presenter Coach is now available in English on the web, Windows, Macs, iOS and Android to anyone with a Microsoft account. But those with Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get additional features, including advanced recommendations in the PowerPoint desktop app on Windows and macOS, as well as three new web feedback features: body language, repetitive language, and pronunciation .

Microsoft Editor. Microsoft’s former competitor Grammarly shipped as a browser extension just over a year ago and now offers plagiarism checks, text predictions, better context for corrections and refinements, and help with typing in LinkedIn, WordPress, Gmail, and Google Docs.

Wolfram’s insight into Excel data. Subscribers to Microsoft 365 will soon have access to over 100 types of data powered by Wolfram. “Instead of using multiple applications or websites to copy and paste external data into spreadsheets, you can import and refresh the data directly into Excel,” notes Microsoft. “And whether you’re working on nutritional goals, deciding on college, or choosing a child’s name, there are smart templates for these scenarios and available for download, which makes it even easier to start with data types.” This feature will soon be available in English for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in Excel on Windows, macOS and the web.

Designer in Word. This new intelligent help tool, now published in a limited online review, can help you “create documents that look sleek, professional, and consistent without the necessary design skills,” says Microsoft. The feature will be available to anyone with a Microsoft account, and as a convenience to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian (Bokmal).

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