(Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft PowerPoint is the de facto presentation tool in the business world, but leaders have to keep evolving if they want to stay on top. In 2015, the company introduced Sway, a free addition to its Office suite that provides interactive presentations with contents hosted on a site owned by Microsoft, rather than being contained in a shareable file. However, the company has just announced that it will be shutting down the iOS app, in favor of the version hosted on the web.

SEE: Microsoft to pull plug on new apps and app updates for Windows 8 and 8.1

In a post on Microsoft's user forums, program manager Sabrina Mohamed said that the iOS app will no longer be available to download from the Apple App Store as of October 19, and the app will stop working altogether as of December 17. Customers will get notifications within the app to remind them of the changes and to try out the online version.

Since Sway presentations have always been stored on Microsoft servers, the removal of the app won't have any effect on the presentations that you've made so far -- it'll just affect how you access them.

Granted, a dedicated mobile app tends to be preferable for services like this, because of the tighter integration of tools, menus, and other components. But if Microsoft detects a lack of interest in a particular version of Sway, they have to weigh that against the cost of continued development.

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Of course, Microsoft does not acknowledge defeat. Mohamed says in the forum post, "With this change, we're consolidating our Sway experience." But given how every other major component of Microsoft Office has spread to and apparently flourished on iOS and Android as a standalone app, cutting Sway out of that picture looks like a retreat, rather than a desire to streamline.

Given that Sway's lack of a price tag creates a low barrier to entry, its apparent lack of engagement on iOS may spell trouble for the app on other platforms.

Either way, Sway apps soldier on in Android, MacOS, and Windows for now, and all of your Sway presentations will remain available at sway.office.com, no matter what operating system you're using at the moment.

The takeaways

  1. Microsoft has announced on its product forums that the iOS version of its Sway interactive presentation app will leave the App Store in October and be shut down in December.
  2. iOS users who want to maintain access to their Sway presentations can access them in a mobile browser at sway.office.com.

Also see

Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.