New app turns Windows Phone handsets into smart remotes for meetings and presentations
Microsoft has released a Windows Phone application that lets Office users control presentations rather than their handset, claiming it offers more functionality than what is provided by traditional remotes.
The application has been developed by Microsoft Research and the Office engineering group and Office Group Program Manager Bert Van Hoof says it will free hosts from the confines of a podium, stage or their laptops.
“The app lets you control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from across the room so you can walk around freely during presentations,” he says.
Office Remote runs on Windows Phone 8 devices and requires a Bluetooth-compatible PC, a downloadable desktop add-in and a non-RT version of Office 2013 to work. With all the pieces in place, users can explore Office docs – PowerPoint, Excel and Word specifically – at meetings or before a crowd. Van Hoof boasts that “all you need for a flawless presentation is to open the Office document you want to project, pick up your phone, and begin your pitch.
“You can start your PowerPoint presentation, advance the slides, see your speaker notes, and control an on-screen laser pointer with a touch of your finger – all from your phone.”
Large on-screen buttons point the way forward (and back) during PowerPoint presentations, while thumbnails provide one-touch access to other slides in the deck. The app also displays speaker cues, a timer and a progress indicator to help a user manage a presentation’s delivery.
In Excel, gesture-based controls allow meeting organisers to explore data by swiping between sheets and jumping between named object. Office Remote can be used to zoom in; navigate rows and columns; and use Slicers, PivotTables and Filters. Word users can jump to headings and comments, and zoom in and nudge the screen up or down, line by line or wholesale.
Increasingly, Office has been venturing beyond the desktop and making the move to mobile devices, with Microsoft even embracing rival mobile operating systems.
The software giant announced the long-awaited release of Office Mobile for the iPhone on 16 June, the the Office Mobile for Android smartphones followed a month later. Both apps are free – but only available to Office 365 subscribers.
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Originally published on eWeek.