As part of Microsoft’s overhaul of just about everything, Android phone users will shortly have access to an improved Office experience. The update has been available for Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad and Android tablets for a while now. In this initial release, Microsoft Office for Android phones is only available as a beta, or preview, with three apps in the Google Play Store ““ Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft stated that – “The Office for Android phone apps are modern, optimized for touch and designed for work on the go. Familiar navigation and menu options in the ribbon are placed at the bottom of the screen within reach of your thumbs so you can easily review and edit documents on your phone.”
You can download the preview app through joining Microsoft’s Office beta program for Android devices. You’ll need to join the community, and opt to become a beta tester for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It may take up to a few hours for your beta request to register, but once that happens you’ll be good to download the apps from the Google Play Store.
Once you have access to the beta app you will be able to create, open, edit and save files in the cloud from your Android phone so you can access them through services like OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box. If you’re collaborating with others on a project, Office for Android phones allows you to track changes, comment and markup documents.
Even though the new beta app is available for a review period, the old Microsoft Office Mobile app for Android phones will continue to appear in the Play Store. Microsoft stated – “We will disclose more about our plans for this app later in the year when we announce general availability of the new Office for Android phone apps…” Microsoft’s Office for Android phones will compete with Google’s Docs, Sheets and Slides apps along with a number of third-party Office alternatives.
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