Microsoft brings Office to Android smartphones

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that the new apps (much like the existing versions for iOS and Android tablets) are free to download.

Five weeks after a beta launch, Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are available for download from the Google Play store.

Since launching the apps in preview, Microsoft has made a few tweaks. Moreover, Microsoft has collaborated with over 30 global, regional and local Android Phone manufacturers such as Sony, LG and Samsung to ensure that the office apps come preloaded with the upcoming phones.

MS Office for Android have been available for Android tablets since January, but the phone apps have now been optimized for better user experience on smaller screens. Until now, if Android users had Office 365 they could use Office Mobile, which was pretty basic. The free license lets you connect with Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and OneDrive.

Having Word, PowerPoint and Excel on Android and iOS undervalues the point of having Windows Phone or Windows 10, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims he wants the company to be loved for the software it provides, and not be a burden with its platforms and services. As with other versions of Office, the build for Android phones uses Microsoft’s modern design language and corresponds very closely in look and feel to Office 2013 on the desktop.

Microsoft Office for Android phones is here.

In November Microsoft – as part of its more open spiritual awakening under the tutelage of Satya Nadella – made the apps available for the iPhone. Many of these devices will arrive in retail stores later in the year.

The apps require the phone to have version 4.4 of Android and up installed. Users can insert charts into Excel to turn numbers into insights, review and make edits before giving a PowerPoint presentation, and reflow documents in Word to make them easier to read. Also, a qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to create, edit and save documents for business use.

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