Before today, you needed an annual Office 365 Home or Personal (or business) subscription to unlock all of the features in Office for iPad. But now you can do so with a monthly subscription, directly from within the Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad mobile apps.

As Microsoft describes it, these new in-app monthly subscription options—you can choose between Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal—are a great choice for individuals—or families—that wish to go month-to-month. You can also choose to switch to a normal annual subscription at a later time from the web, or from iTunes on your PC or Mac, and save money.

How much money?

A monthly subscription to Office 365 Home—good for five users—costs $9.99 per month, or about $120 if you pay for 12 months straight. But an annual subscription to Office 365 Home costs just $99.99, a $20 savings, and you can often find it available for even less: For example, Amazon is currently offering Office 365 Home for just $63.99, a savings of $36 over the normal subscription, and an incredible annual savings $56 over the month-by-month offering.

A monthly subscription to Office 365 Personal costs $6.99 per month through the apps, or about $84 if you were to pay this way for 12 months straight. But an annual subscription to Office 365 Personal costs just $69.99, a $15 savings. But here again, Amazon is offering a much better deal: Office 365 Personal costs just $47.99 right now. That's a savings of $22 over the normal price, and a savings of $36 over the month-by-month offering.

If you're not familiar with Office for iPad, it's surprisingly full-featured. Check out my review for more information.

It's worth noting, too, that you can in fact use Office for iPad without paying: In Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad, you can read documents, print, present (in PowerPoint only), and access the contents of your OneDrive storage. The separate OneNote for iPad is full-featured regardless and you don't have to pay for this free offering.