Microsoft announces Insider program for Visio on iPad

Insiders will get a chance to test out the forthcoming app

Microsoft announces Insider program for Visio on iPad
Credit: REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Microsoft announced it plans to launch its charting and diagramming app Visio on the iPad, and with it an Insider Program for users to get a chance to try out the app before it launches.

Amazing how creative companies are at avoiding the word "beta."

The company is looking for 2,000 Insiders, and in a break from its usual English-only Insider programs, Microsoft is supporting multiple languages this time: English, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

The program will run on all iPads, including iPad Mini and iPad Pro, that are capable of running iOS 9.0 or later, which basically means iPad third generation or later. Microsoft plans to roll out the first feature update around August or September.  

Persons who qualify will receive an email invitation and confirmation from the Visio Insider team. From the email, they can launch the app by tapping “Start Testing” in the invite and sign in with your Microsoft account. I find this ironic because IT has been trying forever to educate users NOT to launch anything from an email because that's how malware is delivered. 

Microsoft said the key features include:

  • View files from OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, or files received as email attachments
  • The Pan and Zoom experience is optimized for a small touchscreen 
  • Turn the visibility of layers on or off 
  • Copy the current view of a Visio diagram as an image and paste it in another app 
  • Share a file as a link or attachment 
  • Find text in a shape 
  • AirPrint a Visio file

Once signed in, users will be connected to OneDrive or OneDrive for Business cloud services. They will be able to access their Visio files stored in the cloud and share them with any other app, such as Outlook.

Visio for iPad will likely be free for the iPad, since the other Office apps are free to download, but they aren't always free to use. Office for iPad Pro requires an Office 365 subscription, for example.

You can sign up for the Visio on iPad Insider Program here.

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