After Google improved the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps a few weeks ago, Microsoft is responding with updates to the Android apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The update adds small, incremental improvements which won't matter to the vast majority, but for a little subset of users, might be the thing that gets them to use one or all of the apps.
The major thing that's new in PowerPoint is the ability to share only one slide. It can get really annoying when to send one slide in a presentation of many slides, you have to send the entire thing and say 'look at slide 22,' or whatever. Read More
Millions of people use Microsoft Office every single day, from typing up a simple letter to making complex spreadsheets. For many, another fundamental part of the suite is SharePoint, which is used by organisations worldwide for a variety of different implementations and reasons. Until now, SharePoint hasn't had an Android app, but not any more: Microsoft's just released an early access version of the app on the Play Store.
The SharePoint app includes all the things you'd expect to find - managing team sites, document storage, Office 365 integration, and collaboration features with other team members. Documents can be edited with the Office Mobile apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), making for easy updating on your Android phone or tablet. Read More
Microsoft is taking Android seriously, and that means more than sticking quality apps on Google Play. The tech giant is partnering with whomever it can to make its software the first you see when you power on your phone. Lenovo is the latest Android manufacturer to agree. Read More
In the latest series of updates to Microsoft's Office apps for Android, the headlining feature is inking support with a couple of other minor additions. Of those, the one most likely to affect your day-to-day use is that each app now allows for saving to SD cards.
Still, the most exciting part of these updates is inking. As the name suggests, this is digital ink. You can draw with your finger or stylus, as I did in the image below. If you have a phone or tablet with an active digitizer like the Samsung Note series, they will support those pressure-sensitive features as well. Read More
Microsoft continues to hammer away at its Android offerings, this time with monthly updates to its office suite. There's no earth-shaking changes here, but as usual regular users are going to appreciate these. The most broadly useful is the new ability to put shortcuts to Office files on your home screen, much like on your desktop computers. For the business types, each of the three apps can now open IRM-protected files. Read More
Microsoft is about to hit it big with one of China's top smartphone manufacturers: Xiaomi. It has announced today a multi-faceted deal with the company including sales of patents, cross-licensing arrangements, and software pre-installation, expanding its OEM partnerships and its services' worldwide reach while also providing Xiaomi with the support it needed to enter more markets.
Microsoft will be selling 1500 patents to Xiaomi — it's not clear whether these came from the Nokia acquisition, its many other acquisitions, or ones that it originally filed for. Regardless, according to Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, this should beef up Xiaomi's arsenal of patents and should, theoretically, make it easier for the company to enter Western markets with lesser friction from other patent holders. Read More
Have you ever wished that your complex word processing software had a simple search function to let you know where the hell it put the word count? It does, and it's called Google. But say you don't want to pop out to another program to do so. That's the idea behind "Tell Me," a feature introduced into the latest versions of Microsoft's various Office programs. It's essentially just a search box with a few predictive tricks to help users find some of the less obvious features. Today it comes to the Android versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Read More
While Google continues to improve the Drive suite experience on Android, Microsoft is making headway with Office on Android. All three apps (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, in case you need a reminder) have gotten updates, adding features and improving editing tools on touchscreens.
Word has two major new or improved features in this release. The first is a better experience when inserting a table into a document. Before, configuring a table was a finicky and fiddly mess, equivalent to painting a tiny model soldier with pins and needles in your hands. With this update, inserting a table is much easier; the cells are bigger by default, with a resize handle at the bottom right to quickly resize the table. Read More
Microsoft's Office Lens scanning app is really good at what it does and that might be why they don't bother to update it too often nowadays. But this is one of those special times when it has gotten some love from the good people in Redmond. The headlining feature is getting to OCR handwritten text in scans, but I assure you that there is a bit of a catch. More practically useful is the other new feature, the option to rotate your scans.
So what's the deal with getting OCR on scans of handwritten documents? Well, for the uninitiated, OCR refers to methods for parsing letters from images. Read More
Microsoft has been steadily marching towards getting familiar desktop features onto their mobile apps. Most recently, that meant support for versioning, auto-save, and live collaboration. This time around, all three get the ability to export to PDF, something we take for granted when using the full versions of Office. They also get a new feature allowing users to insert images directly from your camera, which of course is a feature more unique to mobile. For its part, Microsoft Word for Android can now open RTF files, which falls into the "I didn't realize it couldn't already do that" category for many of us. Read More