For years, one of the most common complaints about Chromebooks was that they couldn't run the Office suite of applications. Microsoft has offered Android apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for a few years now, but they weren't made available to all Chromebooks for some reason. Read More
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
Third-party cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and Box have been available in desktop versions of Microsoft Office for a few years, but the mobile versions have been much more limited. Oh, they supported OneDrive, but who uses that? Starting today, you have new storage options and a few more on on the way. Read More
It's a bit difficult to get excited over updates to presentation software. But the latest Google Slides update brings a new feature that should have been implemented ages ago - remote control with Android Wear devices. Google Slides has supported streaming presentations to Chromecasts for a while now, but you have always had to control the show from your phone (or your laptop, if using the web version).
The latest Google Slides update installs a companion app on your Android Wear device. When you start casting a presentation, a notification appears on your watch that opens the Wear app. The top of the UI shows the time you have spent on the current slide, the orange bar indicates how far along you are in the presentation, and the bottom shows a preview of the next slide. Read More
Microsoft has long since abandoned the strategy of keeping its apps and services confined to its own platform. Windows Phone didn't really work out, so it's not like there's another option. Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps are getting a nice update today on Android that makes them better at handling shared content. PowerPoint also gets some UI tweaks. 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
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 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