Ask LH: Will Using Office 365 On My iPad And iPhone Use Up Two Licences?

Hey Lifehacker, Following last week’s launch, I’m interested in getting Office 365 for my iPhone and iPad. I already have a 365 Home subscription, and I’m using three of the five licences. Do I need to use the remaining two licences, one for my iPhone and one for my iPad, to get full access to the apps on both devices? Thanks, Office Overload

Dear OO,

There are two issues here. Firstly, the Office 365 subscription includes five desktop installs PLUS five mobile device installs. So your iPad install doesn’t come out of your existing five desktop installs — it’s a separate count.

Having said that: You do need to use up a licence for the iPad, but you don’t necessarily need to do so for the iPhone. Here’s why.

Anyone can download Office for iPad, if you don’t have an Office 365 licence, than the iPad version only lets you read documents, not edit them. For those features, you need a paid subscription.

The situation is slightly more variable for the iPhone. Up until last week, Office Mobile on the iPhone also only allowed you to edit documents if you had an Office 365 subscription — so that would have meant using up another existing licence. Now home users can make edits without having to use up one of their licences, but business users can’t, as Microsoft explains on the Office Mobile app page

Sign in with a free Microsoft account to create, edit and save documents for home use. A qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to create, edit and save documents for business use.

As you’re using a Home edition, you should be OK. Note that Office Mobile on the iPhone is very much a cut-down version — for full Office features, you really will want the iPad release.


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