Let’s start with a brief history here. In 2014, Microsoft launched the first “touch” designed versions of MS office… and it wasn’t for a Windows device. In fact it was none other than the Apple iPad. Two companies that have been hardcore competitors since day one had settled some differences as they weren’t quite looking at the same market at the time. Being a college student at the time, this was the best news that I could have ever read. You mean I don’t actually have to drag my laptop around to class if I want to type notes in class? Sure, these versions were slightly stripped down, but anything was better than Pages…. even though I paid $10 for it at the time!
This was part of the initial roll out of Office 365, and with this, that meant you had to be a paid subscriber to use it. Luckily enough, my school gave us office subscriptions as a part of simply being there. So when I downloaded the apps, I was able to login and use them right away. I very quickly became a lover of OneNote (though this had been available well before the rest of the office suite), keeping everything for each class in a different “notebook” as I would if I were handwriting these notes. This wasn’t my first time using OneNote, however this was my first time using it on an iPad, and it was just the perfect layout for a college student.
Now that I’m on my final semester of grad school, I find that I’m actually still using this application. It’s 15 years old, but then again, how old is MS Word? And after all this time Word is still the dominant documenting application (barely). However, back on to the subject of OneNote, it had a significant update in 2012 that made it the workhorse that it is today. It was with noticing this I began steadily using it in 2013 on my computer, and have not turned back since. This isn’t all about OneNote though, I look at what Microsoft has done to boost the professional/student landscape of the iPad – having released Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., all for use on this device – being the first “touch first” based versions of these programs, and I wonder… is the iPad and iOS really the perfect MS Office device? Think about a stripped down version of each app, giving you exactly what you need for day to day use, and no more. If you’re a consistent Power user of all of these apps, the answer is a blatant no, but for simple formulas/functions in Excel, drafting a Document in Word, and even throwing together a very nice Presentation on Powerpoint, for a student? I think the answer is a solid yes!