Microsoft Launches a New Office App for Android and iOS

Microsoft has released a new, unified Office app for Android and iOS. Office brings together the core Microsoft Office apps of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into one unified mobile app. And it’s now available for everyone to use on both Android and iOS.

Microsoft Finally Takes Mobile Seriously

Microsoft is synonymous with PCs. This is because Windows (developed by the genius of Bill Gates) is by far the most popular desktop operating system. And Microsoft’s failure to compete with Android and iOS in the mobile sector only solidified that connection.

However, in recent years, Microsoft has made an effort to become more mobile-friendly. The company now happily releases apps for Android and iOS, including mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And now it has combined all three into one unified app.

Microsoft Office Now Lives on Your Smartphone

In November 2019, Microsoft launched the Office mobile app in a public preview. The iOS app quickly hit the maximum 10,000 users, but the Android app remained up in public preview. Now, however, Microsoft Office for Android and iOS is available to everyone.

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In a post on the Office Apps Blog, published at the time the public preview was launched, Microsoft billed Office as “a new vision for how people get work done on a phone” and “a new app that’s ambitious enough to simply be called Office.” Brave words indeed.

Office for mobile has been built with mobile users in mind at all times. So it’s optimized for use on mobile devices, with Microsoft “combining the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app.” Which can do more than you may think.

Anyone who has already used any of these Office apps will recognize them immediately. It’s just that Microsoft has squeezed them into a single app. This means you get to enjoy an integrated experience, while also gaining some mobile-centric features.

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Combining its existing apps into one “brings all of your Office documents together in one place, reduces the need to switch between multiple apps, and significantly reduces the amount of space used on your phone compared to multiple installed apps.”

How to Use Microsoft Office on Your Smartphone

Microsoft has now launched Office for mobile out of public preview. Which means the app is now available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, respectively. It’s free to download and use, with in-app purchases available for Office 365.

In a new post on the Microsoft 365 Blog, Microsoft describes the new Office app as “a powerful tool that is intuitive and familiar yet still uniquely different.” The company also claims to have “made several enhancements since the public preview”.

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Download: Microsoft Office for Android | iOS (Free, with in-app purchases available)

The Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives

The new Office app is looking good, and is only likely to get better. Unfortunately, while it works well on smartphones, the app only offers limited support for tablets. However, Microsoft has committed to optimizing Office for iPads and Android tablets.

Not convinced? Check out the Microsoft Office desktop app.

As good as Office is, because it’s Microsoft, and Microsoft is regarded as the enemy in some quarters, many people still prefer to use an alternative to Microsoft Office. So, with that in mind, here are the best free Microsoft Office alternatives.

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