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Microsoft Office for Android officially available, but don’t get too excited just yet

Microsoft Office for Android (Office Mobile) is available as a free download from the Google Play Store, but the app has certain limitations for the moment.

Published onJuly 31, 2013

Office Mobile for Android

After launching an official but limited iOS Office application a short while ago, Microsoft has finally released a similar app for Android.

The Office Mobile app can be downloaded now free of charge from the Google Play Store, but don’t get too excited about it, as there are several limitations in place.

For starters, you will need an active Office 365 subscription to use the application. Furthermore, the app is compatible with devices running Android 4.0 and higher, and does not have tablet support.

But most importantly, we’re not looking at a full-fledged Office mobile client here, as users won’t be able to do everything they’re used to doing with Office apps on their desktops.

Here’s what the application will let you do once you get it:

  • Edit – You can make quick edits to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
  • Documents Remain Intact – Formatting and content remain intact when you edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on your phone.
  • Edit While Offline – Your device doesn’t have to be continuously connected to the network to work on an Office document that is stored online. You can view and edit recently used documents even while you’re offline. Your changes will be saved online when your device reconnects to the network or to Wi-Fi.
  • Create – You can create new Word and Excel documents on your phone.
  • Comments – You can review comments that have been made in Word and Excel documents on your phone and add your own comments.
  • Share – When you’re done with your edits or comments, simply send the document in email or save it to SkyDrive or SharePoint.

However, we can only hope Microsoft will further update the app to add more functionality to it. Also worth mentioning are cloud- and email-related features for the app. Office Mobile will let you open documents from the cloud (SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro, SharePoint), access recent cloud documents and even email attachments.

While there are other app alternatives for Android users to Office Mobile, including Google’s own Drive, the app will surely be appreciated by those users that spend a lot of time in Microsoft’s Office environment.

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