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Microsoft Office arrives on iOS – what about Android?

Microsoft Office finally arrived on iOS but with a limited feature set and no tablet compatibility. When will the service be available for Android as well?
June 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.

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.