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.
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.
Microsoft is rolling out big updates to all three of its major Office apps for Android, with several overlapping improvements. The highlight is the addition of auto-save, a staple on desktop versions and frankly overdue on mobile with so many more opportunities for lost connections, unexpected battery drains, and other interruptions. In the same vein, Word and Powerpoint get real-time collaborative editing support, similar to what is available in the web apps and Google Docs.
I took a test drive with the collaborative editing on Word and it wasn't exactly seamless. The browser version says I was editing while offline, which is a decent way to describe the way it worked.
Have you ever wanted to chat with your buddies at work but were afraid of what your boss might say if they caught you slacking off? Then you're in luck, because Microsoft has got your back: Skype is now fully integrated into OneDrive, so you can finally gossip and send emoji and still look entirely professional while doing so.
Of course, that's not really the point of having a Skype sidebar built into your company's revenue spreadsheet for last quarter: Microsoft is selling the concept as a means of boosting productivity and letting coworkers collaborate in real time on documents. Each chat history even stays connected to its respective document, so it's always easy to search back and find what you were looking for.
Microsoft is slowly reinventing itself, acquiring interesting companies like SwiftKey and Sunrise Calendar, changing the way people perceive it and its services, and improving its apps across multiple platforms. We've sure seen the effects here on Android Police — there's hardly any week that passes by without us mentioning the company at least once, and that's Android which isn't even its main platform.
With its new and improved services and apps, Microsoft has been trying to find a permanent home on your devices, and what better way to do that than come preinstalled on your phone or tablet? That means it'd be the de-facto office viewer for many users when they come across a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document.
Remember the days when Microsoft kept all its favorite toys in its own playground? Ah, those days are long over, and now we've got the full suite of Office apps on Android. All three—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—are getting nice little updates today.
If there's one place that Google Docs is a market leader, it's where it comes to collaboration. A web app was a natural place to build on the familiar commenting features from Microsoft Word and make them work in real time and without formal software requirements. On the other hand, we don't normally think about spreadsheets in those terms. With the latest updates to Sheets, though, Google is bringing comments to Android and the web.
I know I haven't even thought much about the need for this kind of feature in a spreadsheet app, but in hindsight it makes plenty of sense.
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.
In a series of upcoming updates to Google's Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps, users will be able to have easier access to one of the most basic editing capabilities: changing the file name. Whereas before you would only change the document's title by saving, it's accessible via hamburger menu now.
Left: old menu, middleand right: new menu and rename dialog
Slide the menu in from the right, tap on the area that says "TestDoc.docx" or whatever you're working with, and you'll see the dialog box on the far right that allows you to edit. Pretty simple and streamlines a pretty fundamental feature.
Microsoft decided a while back to stop jealously guarding its popular productivity software and create proper apps for Android and iOS. The Office apps first came to Android for tablets only, but a phone preview started a few weeks ago. Now phone support is live for everyone, so go grab your free Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps.