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.
Google has unveiled several handy new features for Sheets, their Excel competitor that quite honestly needs all the help it can get. The goodies include enhancements to core functions in addition to collaboration. One of these involves being able to apply sharing permissions to specific parts of the spreadsheet, rather than the entire file.
With the new functionality, I can highlight a cell or set of cells and then right click, tap on "protect cells," and then alter the access rights to them.
There's no nice way to say this: May kind of sucked for new apps. There were a lot of notable updates to major existing apps (including a slew of Material Design updates), but the biggest news of the month came from Microsoft, of all places. Oh well - a short field just means it's that much easier to pick your bets. Here in no particular order are our top picks for the month of May, and a few runners up.
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.
It should come as no surprise that Microsoft wants to have a larger footprint in the mobile market. So the company is taking one of its flagship products and having it shipped preloaded on a significantly larger number of phones and tablets. No, silly, not Windows. I'm talking about Office.
Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a good number of OEMs to have Office shipped out of the box on a plethora of hardware over the next year.
Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps have been in preview on Android for a few months, first as an invite-only preview then as an open one. Now Redmond appears to be moving forward with the real deal—the preview label is gone, and the final versions are rolling out.
Microsoft started a closed beta for Office on Android tablets back in November, but today it's opening things up. Just mosey over to the Play Store, and you can download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free, no beta invite required. These are still preview apps, but they seem ready for prime time.
The Office mobile app just got an update, and for once it's bringing something you might care about. The latest update adds the Dropbox integration that was announced early this month. You can now open, edit, and save documents in Dropbox using the Office app.
There's a pretty basic version of Microsoft Office available for Android in the Play Store, but you won't have much luck trying to install that on anything much larger than a Galaxy Note or Nexus 6. For tablets, the company has something different in the works, and it's now ready to give out tastes to Android users who are eager enough to sign up and get in line.
It is rare for Microsoft to invite another company to play in its sandbox, but let's face it—most people don't use OneDrive. Microsoft would probably prefer you did, but Dropbox is the king of online file storage right now. That's why the companies are getting together to add Dropbox files to Office. So what does this have to do with Android? Well, those Office apps in the Play Store are getting an update.