Microsoft Office Mobile hits Android (for Office 365 subscribers)

There’s no shortage of office apps for Android. QuickOffice, OfficeSuite Pro, Kingsoft Office, and many others (including Google Drive) have been letting Android phone and tablet users open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents for years.

Now there’s a new player in town — Microsoft. The company has finally brought a version of what’s probably the most widely-used office suite in the world to Android. There’s just one catch: You’ll need to be an Office 365 subscriber to use the official Office Mobile app for Android.

Office for Android

Office 365 is Microsoft’s new subscription service which lets you pay a monthly or annual fee to use Office on multiple computers. When a new version of Office is released, customers automatically get the new version for no extra charge.

Of course, since new versions of Office only come out every few years, that doesn’t sound like a great deal for Office Home Premium users who only need to use Office on a single computer. But the new subscription service could be a good deal for families — you can install Office 365 Home Premium on up to 5 computers for $100 per year.

Business plans start at $12.50 per month per user.

Microsoft still offers the option to buy Office for your PC outright and just install it and use it on a single computer. But the company is pushing its new subscription services pretty hard. The company released Office for iOS last month. Like the Android app, it’s only available to Office 365 subscribers.

The new Android app supports Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, features controls optimized for devices with small touchscreen displays, and support cloud synchronization so that you can save files online, and resume reading a document on one device where you left off on another.

Right now the app is optimized for smartphones, but you could theoretically run it on an Android tablet too. It just won’t really take advantage of the extra screen space.

via reddit

  • Sam Curcio

    “…optimized for smartphones…”

    When is Microsoft going to realize that most people cannot use a small screen when creating Office documents?

    • CyberGusa

      Tablet optimization usually comes later… phones are the priority because they still make up the majority of mobile devices and gives them time to develop a more advance version for tablets to get this version out first and not keep everyone waiting until final version.

      Mind MS is still working on the Modern UI version of Office and they’re likely to want to still give their own products an advantage and not eliminate all the reasons to convince people to use Windows 8/RT devices instead of Android/iOS devices…

      • Sam Curcio

        I have to agree on the protectionist attitude MS is taking on 8/RT. After all, if the software works just as well on a competitor’s tablet, then there would be no reason to buy the MS devices.

      • Joe

        I’d buy a Windows 8 tablet over a competitor’s in order to run desktop software. I don’t really care about UI issues with touch/active stylus input as long as I can run the software locally. I use software where vendors say they will not create a Modern UI version because it’ll likely be a dumbed down and less robust app in order to accomodate touch input. At least that’s their current stance and, so far, it hasn’t changed.

        Too bad I can’t say if my use case is popular enough to matter to any company though.

      • Tsais

        I agree about a full Windows 8 tablet. After all, what does anybody buy a device or an OS for, if not for software they have a need to run.

        This is lost on Microcruft, they want to peddle RT because of the way they designed the system to ding developers for 30% off the top, and have it even more locked down than Apple’s walled garden.

        You buy a device and you can’t boot anything else but WART, which doesn’t run anything useful to anybody.

        The only RT buyers are people who walk around Walmart in pyjamas.

    • Amer

      Nothing really stops you to install (i.e. sideload) it on a tablet. I have install it on my Nook HD+ and it works as expected

    • Tsais

      Tablet optimization is not desired by Microcruft, as they conceive it to impinge on the popularity of their RT zombie.

  • raindog469

    Congratulations, Microsoft, you finally released your flagship software on a platform I use. Too bad you’ve priced your offering so outrageously far above your competition that only people whose jobs or education still depend on it (or rely on such people for advice) will buy it. As you’re clearly aware, judging by your increasingly rent-seeking behavior, that population is shrinking.

    After 18 months of regular use, I’ve yet to come across a document or spreadsheet my combination of Drive and QOP couldn’t handle, either business or personal. A bit annoying having to upload my decade worth of Opendocument files to Drive first because QOP can’t handle open formats, but then, does Microsoft’s Android offering handle them any better?

  • efi

    “This app is incompatible with all of your devices.”

    What’s that all about ?

  • Tsais

    I can buy several excellent office apps on android for a smallish one-time payment. Why would I let Microcruft ding my bank account every month?

    I guess only people who’s corporation or employer pays for Office365 will be using it.

    Fine by me, you can keep it, Mr, Ballmer – along with your RT zombie…

  • Michael Thompson

    Don’t need. Don’t want.
    MS has this annoying habit of pushing me away while at the same time wanting money from me.
    Good luck with that.