DataViz, makers of Documents To Go, a Microsoft Office editor app for mobile devices, has confirmed that they are developing an application for the iPhone. The application would allow for editing of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on your iPhone, or, presumably, your iPod Touch. According to a company representative, the application will likely be available in early 2009.
Documents To Go is popular smartphone software that runs on the Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile, and Symbian platforms. Once installed, it allows for viewing and editing Microsoft Office files. Although you can't do everything that you could do with Microsoft Office desktop software, the Documents To Go app allows for several editing techniques from the basic (cut/copy/paste, spell check, replace/replace all, etc.) to the more advanced (font effects, paragraph alignment, insert charts/tables/comments, cell formatting, track changes, etc.). Those more advanced formatting abilities are available in the premium version of the program, but both it and the standard version are paid applications.
However, it's unknown at this time if the iPhone version of the Documents To Go application will function exactly the same as its predecessors. The company would not confirm anything else beyond the fact that they are indeed working working on an application and that they expect it to be available in early 2009.
iPhone Edges Closer To Business Use
Surprisingly, the competition for the Documents To Go iPhone app may come from Microsoft themselves, who confirmed at this week's PDC event that their new Office Web Applications suite will be available as a technical preview by year end. According to Microsoft, Office Web apps will work in IE, Firefox, and Safari browsers. We're hoping that means iPhone's Safari browser, but we won't know until testing begins.
Until then, something like a Documents To Go iPhone app could push the iPhone even closer to enterprise adoption, especially considering that the phone now works with Microsoft Exchange Server. Currently, Office files arriving as email attachments can be viewed on the iPhone, but making changes to those files is not possible. Providing editing tools may be the final step towards getting the iPhone past the barriers of I.T., where there are still holdouts claiming the iPhone isn't a business-ready device.
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