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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has made some moves to improve its most popular and well-known iOS apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) by redesigning them from scratch. The idea here is to make the apps "simpler, faster and more beautiful than before" in other words, more user-friendly. 

This redesign is another update in a number of improvements the company has been making to its mobile apps of late. We saw significant improvements in 2018 and the appearance of a single Microsoft Office app late last year. Other recent enhancements include the addition of dark mode to a number of Microsoft apps and refresh mobile icons. 

This latest refreshed design includes a simplified layout within the app that's split into three sections - Home, New, and Open. This is meant to be a more user-friendly design that will make navigating and using the apps a breeze. If you need to view recent documents or spreadsheets then they're all in the home section. Click new to create a new one or open to browse existing docs already on your iPhone or iPad. 

Additionally, Microsoft has added an updated and improved Alt Text Pane to make it easier to access and add helpful captions to your work. 

For Excel users things are getting exciting with the addition of new functionality in the form of XLOOKUP:

This redesign seems like an odd move from Microsoft considering the company is in the middle of testing a single Office app that's designed to integrate all the separate apps into one app to rule them all. That app though is only in beta testing (via TestFlight) at the moment. 

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Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 11 February 2020.