Microsoft has announced that real-time co-authoring support for protected Office documents is now generally available on both Android and iOS devices. The feature has been available in public preview since March, allowing multiple users to collaborate seamlessly on encrypted Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the go.
According to Microsoft, the new co-authoring feature is designed to enhance employees’ productivity in hybrid and remote work scenarios. When a user edits files protected by a sensitivity label with encryption, the Office mobile apps will remove the exclusive lock and then reapply the protection when the editing session ends. The co-authoring capability is already available for Windows, macOS, and web users.
“With Microsoft Purview Information Protection, we are building a unified set of capabilities for data classification, labeling, and protection not only in Office Apps, but also in other popular productivity services where information resides (e.g., SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Microsoft Teams), as well as endpoint devices,” said Paras Kapadia, Principal Product Manager for Microsoft 365 Apps.
You can see how co-authoring on an encrypted Office document works on an iPad and Android device in the screenshot below:
Overall, the new co-authoring experience should be a welcome addition for employees who use iOS and Android tablets. To try out this feature, users will need to install the latest Office app update (or Word/Excel/PowerPoint) on Android (version 16.0.14931 or higher) and iOS (version 2.58.207 or higher) devices.
However, Microsoft notes that IT admins must ensure that the “Co-authoring for files with sensitivity labels” setting is enabled in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. If you haven’t done it yet, you can follow this step-by-step guide to enable co-authoring support for protected Office files in your tenant.