Microsoft Office arrives on iOS – what about Android?

by: Alex SerbanJune 17, 2013

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a premium business tool, there is no secret in that. Whenever you want a document nicely done, whether you’re referring to a spreadsheet, a slide presentation or a simple written piece, Office is the way to go. Here on Google’s field, we’ve waited for Microsoft’s service to arrive for a long time, but as it turns out, Apple was more fortunate and received it first.

Must Read: Best Office Android Apps

The first reasonable question that comes in mind is when will Microsoft bring its best on Android? Well, considering the simplicity of the newly released application, it may take some time.

microsoft office ios

Available right now in the App Store, Office works only on iPhones and there’s no news of an iPad-compatible version. The mobile package can only be used by Office 365 subscribers, a service which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year after a one-month free trial.

Also, there’s now word of a stand-alone application, which can be bought by paying a one-time fee. As BGR states, Microsoft has no plans for such a thing and views the package more as an extension to already existing services.

Besides the business-related tool, those signed in into the Office 365 program also benefit from 20GB of SkyDrive storage and the possibility of installing the entire and complete Office Suite on five different PCs.

What’s included in Microsoft Office for iOS?


Office on iOS comes with three of the most well-known Microsoft applications: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All three are rendered using a nice looking minimalistic interface and contain basic functionality. Each and every service can only function through the cloud-based SkyDrive service and there’s no support for local saving.

As we mentioned, functionality is pretty limited at this early stage. In Word for example, iOS users can only change colors, size and other styling options or add annotations for others. In Excel font styling and cell colors are included, as well as formulas, searching, chart creation, multiple pages and document sharing.

The most severely restricted service is PowerPoint, from where users can only view documents, edit text and add notes.

In all apps, there is no support for paragraph formatting, image inserting or even making use the iPhone’s native copy and paste function – even though it was mentioned by Microsoft in its product guide. Other than that some of the features discussed above encounter errors from time to time or simply refuse to work.

When will Android’s turn come?


Pretty soon we believe. Although there’s no official source and even though Microsoft’s package released for iOS is a very basic one, we have hopes of seeing an Android-compatible version in the upcoming future. The one thing that keeps our hopes alive is Microsoft’s need to make money.

Even though developers currently programming mobile software get more benefits from Apple’s platform than from Google’s (I guess this was also Microsoft’s strategy with Office), Android is still a major player. As soon as the Redmond-based giant will sort things out and develop a truly worthy version of Office, one that works on smartphones and tablets alike, Android will follow.

Also, past signs tend to strengthen our believes. In May last year, the same source claimed to have exclusive news about an Android and iOS version supposed to arrive last November. A month later another credible source claimed the same thing and even added a hard release date. In October 2012 there were mentions of a tablet-friendly release for this March.

From the looks of it, all the speculation was rather founded, but something might have intervened along the way. Maybe Microsoft was busy keeping its own mobile users happy instead of focusing on other mobile operating systems. It’s worth mentioning here that Office has been available on Windows Phone 8 since the launch of the platform, in October last year.

It’s only logical that Microsoft developed WP8, launched Office mobile alongside it and then expanded to other platforms. Cross-platform support is a thing well considered by Microsoft and as a recent report shows, the company is willing to bring even the Web Apps suite to Android tablets soon. It shouldn’t take long to see true Office Android app as well.

Until that happens, Android enthusiasts can rely on other applications to do the same job. OfficeSuite Pro and Google Drive are some good options.

Presently, Office for iOS is only available in the United States but Microsoft is reported to bring the app to 136 different markets in 29 different languages.

  • Larkhillv

    Yeah…. Don’t know why anyone would pay that premium for MS Office on Android when there is Office Suite Pro, unless MS Office has some major functions that OSP doesn’t have. Even then, for basic Office functions, which I suspect is what most people need, OSP should be more than enough.

  • APai

    existing office suites are plenty for whatever limited things we can do on android. don’t want to see microsoft anywhere near the mobile space, the lesser mind share they have the better.

  • APai

    existing office suites are plenty for whatever limited things we can do on android. don’t want to see microsoft anywhere near the mobile space, the lesser mind share they have the better.

  • Steve Steiner

    Plenty of mobile office suites which are either free or one-time cost and that integrate with multiple cloud storage options. There would need to be a very compelling reason for me personally to pay $100/year for this functionality.

    • briankariu

      This. Why the hell would I pay $100 for a word processor? There are a tonne of apps that do the same thing at fraction of what microsoft is asking.
      The price they are asking is easily 20 of the top paid android apps…maybe more.
      M$ put it where the sun don’t shine

  • milksop held

    There better be a hack to be able to use without the subscription

  • SickPuP

    Why do I have to be a member of the cloud based software for desktop to have access to the mobile version? This makes no sense. I have an Office 365 license with my company but I do not believe these should be linked from a consumer standpoint. I will stick with the free office tools available for Android. The only app I would like to see is Outlook because the built in email client for Android is horrid.

  • Dash Foster

    Microsoft will probably release it for android when the YouTube app gets released for Windows phone 8. Microsoft and Apple seem to be getting closer, especially when Apple changed Siri to using Bing search results rather than Google.

  • 윌 스튜어트

    I for one prefer to do work on my PC rather than my phone – I tried to do it on my phone but it was a very fatigue & tiring experience.

  • arian.salihu

    chromebook will be a huge succes only if he will support microsoft office
    mark my word ! :P

  • Abdel Aziz Farhi

    99.99$ for a service so basic and only a 1 year subscription .. There are better alternatives on Play Store for the price of 15$ at most.

  • Jim jam

    Kingsoft office is free and can do much more.

  • Jose Jimenez

    Why would you want to have the full version of Microsoft Office on your Phone? If you are in need of it; just take your laptop or you can always using remote desktop to your home or work computer and do your work from there.

  • John Lawson

    Will it allow you to use Tables in Word ?

  • mikegonzalez2k

    Anyone considering this should use something like Polaris or Kingston Office or Office Suite Pro. They are healthy alternatives which has most of the functionality that normal MS Office has.


    Kingston Office

    Office Suite Pro