Microsoft Embraces Apple Watch with OneDrive, PowerPoint Support
With the first Apple Watch shipments set to arrive this Friday, the iOS App Store is now overflowing with both app updates and new apps designed to take advantage of Apple’s new wearable device. While it’s not surprising to see Apple-centric developers like The Omni Group ready for Apple Watch support on day one, Microsoft has also moved to quickly embrace the device. The Redmond company has already released two updates to support Apple Watch, and more are on the way.
OneDrive: OneDrive is Microsoft’s cross-platform online storage and syncing service, and the company updated the OneDrive for iOS app this week to provide support for viewing photos stored on the service via Apple Watch. Like most Apple Watch companion apps, functionality is limited to common or important functions only. In the case of OneDrive photos, that means the ability to view recent photos uploaded to the service and delete unwanted ones, located photos by tags, and browse existing albums.
PowerPoint: Microsoft’s Office apps for iOS are great. In fact, to the dismay of Microsoft hardware fans, the Office suite for iOS is arguably better in every way than the current versions of Office on Windows phones and tablets (although that’s set to change with the release of touch-based Office for mobile Windows devices, expected to launch alongside Windows 10 later this year). Microsoft hopes to make this experience even better by updating the PowerPoint app with the new PowerPoint Remote for Apple Watch feature. The new remote capability lets users start and control PowerPoint slideshows on their iPhone or iPad via the watch, as well keep track of the elapsed time since the presentation started and the number of slides remaining. It will be a useful tool for those who want to connect their iOS device to a projector or display for a presentation, but then want to stand away from the device to navigate the slides.
The updates for both apps are of course free and are now available on the iOS App Store, ready for use when the first iPhones arrive on Friday. As Apple Watch makes its way into the market in the coming months, expect other Microsoft apps such as Skype and Sway to also receive updates to support the device.