Microsoft Office is available for Android. No, this isn't new news, but considering how unlikely that seemed not many years ago, it's nice to reflect every now and then. Anyways, an update has rolled out for the full suite of Office apps. Word and Excel now come in smaller packages, with Microsoft boasting a 50% reduction in size.
It's one thing to claim you have an open approach and another thing to make it easier to use your competitor's product. Google is putting their money where their mouth is as they release a Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, though there is still some work to do. While on one hand you can see this as a way to help users avoid Docs, Sheets, and Slides, it also provides feature parity with Drive's own competitors OneDrive and Dropbox, both of whom enjoy deep integration with the office suite.
At this point, the plug-in only works on Windows and users are reporting that it doesn't function on the Office 2016 pre-release versions which will launch very shortly alongside Windows 10.
Office Lens, which was released in a semi-private beta in April, is now widely available through the Play Store. The app had been on Windows Phone for quite a while and, continuing their pattern, Microsoft decided they wanted it on Android as well. Office Lens uses your phone or tablet's built-in camera to scan documents or whiteboards and convert them to PDF or office document formats. Here's an example of how it's supposed to work from the app info:
Of course, lots of things will affect how well it works in your experience. The lighting, the quality of the camera, steadiness of your hands, and untold other factors may result in far less success than Microsoft's example images.
Microsoft said today in a blog post that they have added 20 new partners to their roster of those who will ship their software on Android tablets. This comes on the heels of the relatively recent stable release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablets running KitKat or newer. Just earlier this year, Microsoft reached a similar agreement with Samsung, Dell, and several other less-known OEMs. Today's headliners are Sony and LG, but many more are included.
First of all, here's the full list of new partners that will be shipping Android tablets with Microsoft apps and services along with the regions they'll be operating in.
During this year's Microsoft I/O, excuse me, Microsoft Build Developer Conference, the Windows maker announced all sorts of new Office-related stuff across all kinds of platforms, Android included. Okay, there isn't much information on the Android front, but Microsoft did announce that it intends to bring add-in support to the Play Store's version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint sometime later this year.
Unfortunately, the Android version won't come until Microsoft first gets everything working on the iPad. It's starting with Excel.
Add-ins are another name for extensions, which allow users to expand on an Office app's functionality by installing a third-party add-on.
While Microsoft's wide release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablet users was more than welcome, there were more than a few strings attached. Most notably, it was incompatible with Android 5.0+, making the newest devices unable to use them. The other major hangup was the lack of support for x86 processors, which basically means all Intel SoCs, a popular choice in the midrange tablet market. Microsoft is now working on a semi-private beta that adds support for both of those groups.
The announcement was made to the Office Preview for Android Tablets Yammer network. All who tested the current public versions before they left beta should be able to access this message, ask questions, and the like.
Wouldn't it be nice if every international tech company was as accommodating to competing platforms as Microsoft? The company's Android support for the last year or so has been nothing short of amazing - it must make all twenty Windows Phone users really pissed off at Google for its lack of reciprocation. The latest Microsoft app to make the jump to Android is Delve, a collaboration tool for Office 365 users.
Delve is basically a stream of all the changes made to shared Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files to which you have access. That might not seem like much, but for a team that runs on Office 365 it can be extremely useful.
New to the Play Store is Microsoft's Office Remote for Android, an app whose name almost perfectly describes its function. While your phone may not be the place to present your latest Powerpoint or show off your Excel PivotTables, Office Remote turns your handset into the command center for these sorts of broadcasts. In other words, it allows you to use your Android device like a "clicker" that happens to be loaded with lots of other features.
Your actions in the Android app will cause a corresponding response on a desktop-based Microsoft Office program that you will connect to via Bluetooth.
Despite the existence of OneDrive, Microsoft and Dropbox are friends now. The Redmond-based company knows where you're saving your stuff, and it wants you using its office suite regardless. It's business.
So Microsoft and Dropbox have announced the next level of integration for their mutual products. Office Online will now let you open a file straight from Dropbox, edit it, and save it back. This is the kind of seamless experience that came to Android towards the end of last year.
This is all part of Microsoft's continued strategy to integrate Office with whatever platforms and cloud storage providers it can get its hands on.
Google's office suite in the cloud can handle a number of Microsoft's Office formats, a necessity born from the sheer entrenchment of the competition. The search giant isn't bitter though. Rather than shun the task of working with the various file types out there, it has added support for converting 15 more. The list includes less common formats spread across Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Newly supported Microsoft Office formats:
dot, dotx, dotm, docm
xlt, xltx, xltm, xlsm
pot, potx, potm, pptm, pps, ppsx, ppsm
After converting the documents, you're free to edit them as you would any other.