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Microsoft Word passes 1 billion installs on Play Store

Even though cloud-based productivity suites like Google Docs are incredibly popular, many people (and large corporations) still operate on good ol' Microsoft Office. The Word text processor was Microsoft's first Android app to pass 500 million installs on the Play Store, and a little over a year later, it has now passed the 1 billion mark.

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Microsoft Office apps get inking and SD card support, Word gets touch-friendly tables

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.

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Latest Android update for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel brings IRM support, home screen shortcuts to files, and Word can now open TXT files

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.

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Microsoft Updates Office Apps With 'Quick Access Commands' And Other Usability Features

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.

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Microsoft Adds PDF Export, Direct-From-Camera Picture Insertion, And RTF Support To Office Apps For Android In Latest Updates

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.

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Microsoft Updates All Three Office Apps With Auto Save, Version History, Collaborative Editing, And More App-Specific Features

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.

Screenshot_2016-03-16-13-21-31 Screenshot (March 16, 2016 1:24 PM)

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.

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Microsoft Announces That 20 More OEMs, Including LG And Sony, Will Begin Shipping Office, OneDrive, And Other Productivity Software On Their Android Tablets

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.

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Microsoft Plans To Make Office Add-Ins Available On Android Sometime Later This Year

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.

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Microsoft Releases Office Preview Apps For Tablets Running Lollipop And All Intel/x86 Systems

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.

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Dropbox App Adds A Built-In PDF Viewer And In-Document Searching For PDF, Word, And PowerPoint Files

Dropbox is one of those essential apps that goes on any new Android device I buy or test almost immediately. Today it's getting an update adding a couple of features that will make it considerably more useful for reading and searching documents. First of all, the Dropbox app for Android can now view Adobe PDF files natively. Since it seems like we're doomed to use this proprietary format until the heat death of the universe (or at least until Adobe starts charging by the page), it's a handy extra.

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PDF files can be shared directly from the viewer, so there's no need to download a file or go back to the main Dropbox interface to send it on.

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