Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week

Use Microsoft's Powerful Apps to Become More Productive Using Your Smartphone or Tablet

May 28, 2020 Jason R. Rich Season 1 Episode 18
Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week
Use Microsoft's Powerful Apps to Become More Productive Using Your Smartphone or Tablet
Show Notes Transcript

From this episode of Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week, you'll learn all about the optional mobile apps from Microsoft that can be used to enhance your productivity when using your Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, or Android-based mobile device.

The Microsoft mobile apps covered within this episode include:

  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft 365 apps - Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, etc.
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft To Do
  • Microsoft Planner
  • Microsoft Office Lens
  • Microsoft News

To find, download, and install any of these apps on your Apple iPhone or Apple iPad, visit the App Store, and within the Search field, enter the app's title, or use the keyword "Microsoft."

To find, download, and install any of these apps on your Android-based mobile device, visit the Google Play Store, and within the Search field, enter the app's title, or use the keyword "Microsoft."

More information about all of Microsoft's mobile apps can also be found on Microsoft's website. Point your favorite web browser to: www.microsoft.com/mobileapps.

As always, the information offered within this podcast is unbiased and not sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies, products, or services discussed. For more information about the podcast's host, Jason R. Rich, please visit his website at www.JasonRich.com.

Featured App of the Week – Episode #18

 Welcome back to the Featured App of the Week podcast. I’m Jason Rich. 

While most people are familiar with Microsoft’s vast collection of popular software for Windows PC and Mac computers, many don’t know that Microsoft also offers an equally impressive collection of mobile apps for the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, and all Android-based mobile devices. 

The focus of this episode is on providing an overview of the optional Microsoft mobile apps that can be used to enhance your smartphone-related productivity, especially while you’re on the go.

The majority of the mobile apps from Microsoft integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft OneDrive cloud-based file sharing service, so your app-specific data, documents, and files can easily be set up to automatically sync with all of your own mobile devices and computers. A free Microsoft OneDrive account is available to everybody. 

To learn more about the Microsoft apps featured in this podcast episode, be sure to visit www.microsoft.com/mobileapps

As always, however, you’ll also discover a list of apps and services discussed during the Featured App of the Week episode, as well as their respective website addresses, within the Episode Notes for this podcast episode.

From your smartphone or tablet, to log into and use virtually all of the Microsoft apps, you’ll need an active Microsoft account, which anyone can acquire for free. Keep in mind, regardless of how many Microsoft apps you opt to use on your computers and mobile devices, you only need one Microsoft account.

In addition, many of the Microsoft apps have built in, cloud-based collaboration tools, so you can collaborate in real-time or share specific Microsoft-related data, documents, or files with people of your choice via the Internet.

When it comes to discovering how you can use the various Microsoft apps to enhance your productivity, there are a few additional things you need to understand.

First, many of the Microsoft mobile apps are available for free to all Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, and Android-based mobile device users. The apps are available from the App Store if you’re an Apple mobile device user, or the Google Play Store if you’re an Android mobile device user.

The easiest way to find, download, and install the various Microsoft apps onto your mobile device is to launch the App Store or Google Play Store app from your Internet-connected mobile device, and within the Search field, enter the search word “Microsoft.”

You’ll then see a listing of Microsoft apps. After reading the description for each app, one at a time, select which ones you want to download and install. On the iPhone or iPad, for example, tap on the Get button to acquire the selected app.

Second, some, but not all of the Microsoft apps require a paid subscription to the Microsoft 365 service in order to unlock all of the features and functions the app offers. A Microsoft 365 Personal subscription starts at $6.99 per month, while a Microsoft 365 Businessaccount subscription starts at $5.00 per user, per month.

Most Microsoft 365 subscriptions give you full access to select Microsoft applications on allof your mobile devices and all of your own laptop and desktop computers.

Each of the Microsoft apps offers a different collections of features and functions, and tends to be fully compatible with their Windows PC or Mac counterpart. Thus, a word processing document created using Microsoft Word on a computer, for example, can be viewed, edited, printed, and shared from a smartphone or tablet.

When using many of the Microsoft apps on a smartphone, you’ll often discover it has been scaled down a bit, compared to its desktop or notebook computer counterpart. 

Working with the Microsoft apps on a tablet, however, offer a much more robust experience that more closely emulates your experience using these apps on a computer.

With all that being said, let’s focus on some of the individual Microsoft mobile apps and what they’re used for. To begin, Microsoft offers mobile device versions of most of the popular Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 applications.

Microsoft Word is a powerful and full-featured word processor. Microsoft Excel is an equally powerful spreadsheet application, and Microsoft PowerPoint is used to create and present digital slide presentations. 

What’s nice is that the user interface for many of the Microsoft app is very similar, so the learning curve is short if you’re already familiar with any of the other Microsoft apps.

Just like its Windows PC and Mac counterpart, Microsoft Outlook is an email management and scheduling application. 

Meanwhile, while I mentioned earlier that each of these apps integrates automatically with the Microsoft OneDrive cloud-based file sharing service, if you want direct access to your OneDrive account from your mobile device, be sure to use the optional Microsoft OneDrivemobile app.

When it comes to participating in videos calls and virtual meetings, one of your options is to use the Microsoft Teams service. The Microsoft Teams allows you to participate in video calls or virtual meetings from anywhere you have a reliable cellular or Wi-Fi Internet connection.

For making Internet-based voice or video calls, including group calls, Microsoft’s Skypeservice can be used. To make and receive Skype calls from your smartphone or tablet, install the Skype app. 

While Microsoft Word is a full-featured word processor, if your needs involve notetaking, you may determine that the Microsoft OneNote application offers a more customizable set of tools for creating, managing, and sharing notes and lists. 

Microsoft OneNote offers an expanded set of tools compared to what’s built into the Notesand Reminders apps that come preinstalled on your iPhone and iPad, for example.

When it comes to surfing the web from your smartphone, all iPhones and iPads come with the Safari web browser preinstalled, while Android-based mobile devices come with the Google Chrome web browser installed.

However, if you’re a Windows PC user, you may already be familiar with the Microsoft Edgeweb browser. Thus, the Microsoft Edge mobile app offers a similar web surfing experience on your mobile device as the Microsoft Edge web browser offers on your computer. 

Plus, all of your saved bookmarks, website usernames and passwords, and your web surfing history, for example, will automatically sync when you use the same web browser on all of your computers and mobile devices.

Just like its Windows PC and Mac counterpart, Microsoft SharePoint is an information gathering and organizational tool that’s available for smartphones and tablets. 

The Microsoft To Do app is a list manager that allows you to create, manage, and share an unlimited number of individual lists, and each list can contain an unlimited number of list items. It’s also possible to prioritize list items, and when necessary, add alerts or alarms to them in order to help you manage deadlines and projects.

If your work requires you to manage many client appointments and meetings throughout your day, plus coordinate scheduling with a team, the Microsoft Planner app offers a comprehensive set of collaborative scheduling tools. It’s this app’s team planning functionality that set it apart from Microsoft Outlook, for example.

Unlike other Microsoft apps, to use the Microsoft Planner app on your mobile devices, you must be a paid Microsoft 365 Business subscriber. This app does not work with Microsoft 365 Personal accounts.

Meanwhile, designed to work in conjunction with other Microsoft apps, the Microsoft Office Lens app transforms your smartphone or tablet into a scanner. 

With this app, you can use the rear-facing camera of your mobile device to scan any paper-based documents, and quickly transform them into digital PDF files that can be stored, views, annotated, and shared via your mobile device.

Also, if you’re too busy to watch television news programs or read a newspaper every day, the Microsoft News app allows you to create a personalized newsfeed. Based on your news-related interests, each time the Microsoft News app is launched, it gathers news stories from a wide range of sources and displays only information you’d be interested in on your mobile device’s screen. 

The Microsoft News app is Microsoft’s alternative of the News app that comes preinstalled on all iPhones and iPads, and the Google News app that comes preinstalled on all Android-based mobile devices. 

As you explore the App Store or Google Play Store, you’ll also find other Microsoft mobile apps that offer smartphone and tablet versions of popular Microsoft applications for Windows PCs and Macs. 

The goal of these apps is to offer you seamless access to all of your important data, documents, and files whenever and wherever you need them, and to provide you with the ability to collaborate and share information with others from virtually anywhere, as long as your mobile device has Internet access.

Microsoft has done a great job adapting their popular computer applications for use with smartphones and tablets, and the company continues to update each of its apps with new features and functions that take full advantage of the latest smartphone and tablet technologies.

Well that’s it for this edition of Jason Rich’s Featured App of the Week. As always, if you found the information offered by this podcast helpful, please share details about the podcast with your friends, post a positive review, and don’t forget to subscribe. 

Also, don’t forget to check the Episode Notes related to this podcast episode for a list of the apps and services discussed. A text-based transcript of the episode is also available.

Until next time, I’m Jason Rich. Thanks for listening!