Microsoft Supports iPad Multitasking With Updates Office For iOS 9 Apps

With Apple's iOS 9 release upon us, Microsoft is rolling out updates to its Office suite to enable multitasking on the iPad.

Microsoft took the stage at Apple's September 9 iPhone and iPad event and announced that it has some neat new Office features in tow for iOS.

With its latest iOS 9, Apple finally added an essential and long-requested feature to its iPad: multitasking. This feature is available only for the iPad Air 2 and the newly announced iPad Pro, but Microsoft is nonetheless eager to support multitasking with its Office suite.

As Apple is increasingly pushing to position its iPads – particularly the latest iPad Pro – as an enterprise solution, Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint can be great allies. Microsoft is ready to do its part and offer updated Office apps for iOS 9. As promised on September 9, Microsoft is now updating its Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook apps for iOS, The Verge reports. The updated versions have yet to go live at the time of writing, but should roll out later on Wednesday, September 16.

With the new multitasking feature, iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 users on iOS 9 will be able to run Office apps such as Word and PowerPoint, side by side. Multitasking is not a new feature for the Office suite, but it is for the iPad.

In addition to support for running two Office apps alongside each other, Microsoft is also enabling new features across its Office suite for iOS 9. For instance, Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be able to see keyboard shortcuts when users tap the "cmd" key on an external iPad keyboard — something that was not possible before.

At the same time, Outlook for iPad now has keyboard shortcuts for composing a new email or switching tabs between email, files, calendar, settings and people. Both Outlook and OneNote also get Spotlight search support for the latest iOS 9, enabling users to search through their email and notes straight from the iOS search interface. Lastly, OneNote will also allow iOS users to start working on a note from an iPhone, for instance, and pick up where they left off on an iPad.

Apple will start rolling out its new iOS 9 to iPhones and iPads on Wednesday, September 16, and the updated Microsoft Office apps should make things easier for iPad users.