Microsoft delivers Office Mobile for Android phones

Microsoft delivers Office Mobile for Android phones

Summary: Microsoft rolls out Office Mobile suite for Android phones for Office 365 subscribers.

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Just over a month after making available a mobile version of its Office suite for iPhone users, Microsoft is doing the same with an Android version of Office Mobile.

officemobileandroid

And just like it did with the iPhone version, Microsoft is tying the Android version of Office Mobile to Office 365. Users who want to use the mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their Android phones will need to have an Office 365 subscription, such as Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 ProPlus or these other SKUs to get them.

Office Mobile for Android phones (known officially as "Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers") is launching initially in the U.S. on July 31 and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. The plan is to make it available in 33 languages and 117 markets "over the next several weeks."

The Office Mobile for iPhone and Android suites are both like the Office Mobile suite that Microsoft preloads on Windows Phone, meaning they are optimized for the editing, viewing and creation of Word and Excel documents. (Microsoft already has offered OneNote for Android phones since February 2012.) Unlike Office Mobile for iPhone, Office Mobile for Android phones does not include an option to purchase an Office 365 subscription from within the app, however. Office Mobile for Android phones only has a “sign in” option.

Office 365 subscribers are authorized install Office Mobile on up to five iPhones and/or Android phones. (Office Mobile on Windows Phones don't count against that total.) Office 365 University subscribers can install Office Mobile on up to two non-Windows Phones.

Microsoft is still widely believed to be developing versions of its core Office apps that would be customized to work on iPads and Android tablets. As with the iPhone and Android phone versions, these Office tablet apps would likely be tethered to an Office 365 subscription, tipsters have hinted.

One internal Microsoft roadmap I saw indicated that Office for iOS and Android might not arrive until the fall of 2014. But it was unclear from that roadmap if this was a reference to Office for iPhones and Android phones or Office for iPad and Android tablets. If the fall 2014 date was simply a reference to the new Office Mobile suites, Microsoft may have decided to push these cross-platform versions of Office for mobile devices out more quickly than planned not so long ago.

Topics: Android, Collaboration, Microsoft, Mobility, Smartphones

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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63 comments
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  • Office on a phone?

    What is so appealing about having MS Office on either a phone or tablet? I must be missing something? I just don't see a lot of folks doing Excel, Powerpoint or Word on a phone. A tablet? Perhaps, but even that is a stretch. Now I can certainly see "reader components of Office being used, especially on a tablet and perhaps OneNote and Outlook, but not the full Office suite. Not seeing where the market is for this?
    BruinB88
    • This is not the full Office suite....

      ...and while you can create Word and Excel documents, it is more for viewing and editing. Very useful if you are on the go a lot, but it don't replace your Office suite on your computer.
      toph36
      • Neither was Office for RT.

        Not that different.
        jessepollard
        • Seriously...

          Have you even used Office for RT?
          crystalsoldier
      • Slides

        I agree, though I actually tend to the Powerpoint viewers most, since it's very handy for quickly going through presentations on the way to delivering them.
        DJL64
    • Nice to have

      I don't think anyone is looking to replace their computer with a smartphone. However having the ability to work on a document while someone is away from their computer might just be critical should the need arise.

      I can see the use while on a tablet. There is enough screen space to be more productive. Afterall a tablet is just a computer in a different shape.
      Emacho
      • But Not For ....

        The missing note is subscription service.
        Count me out.
        Way out.
        Offer it as a single price app and I will look. Office Suite Pro and other alternatives are a much better option unless you already are a 365 subscriber.
        rhonin
    • Office

      Office on a table with a blue tooth keyboard makes sense. On a phone it is nice to be able to show people already develop stuff, but that is about it.
      hayneiii@...
      • Why

        Why use office to show a document on a phone? How many people do that... My iPhone gmail can display word, excel, etc.. This is the dimmest idea ever.
        prof123
    • It's about pushing Subscriptions

      Rather than software. These are just links to Office 365, where the Play Store, and iTunes App store host a "Free App", and Microsoft collects the subscription fee on the back end.
      Troll Hunter J
  • Or.....

    Docs to Go,

    OfficeSuite,

    QuickOffice,

    Polaris Office

    Kingston Office

    All decent alternatives depending on your needs and preferences.

    Cost range from nothing to a hell of a lot cheaper that 365.
    Boothy_p
    • Thanks but no.

      All of them will equally trash your documents.
      wmac1
      • Sometimes

        I find they work OK most of the time. I did once edit a couple of spreadsheet cells using Quickoffice. When I copied the file back to my laptop, it refused to open with an error message saying I'd there wasn't enough disk space.
        DJL64
        • Worse than not working at all

          If you value your time and data, "work OK most of the time" is worse than not working at all.
          dstelow
    • No.. just no..

      Even suggesting such options implies you do not understand the added benefit of native office support on your device.
      DJK2
      • I have, I do

        and it is not worth the cost from a phone perspective. Make it a one time purchase, not a subscription.

        Then again, to those of us who use advanced features, this latest offering is also quite worthless.
        rhonin
        • The subscription...

          provides more than just access from a smartphone. I believe this is more for existing Office 365 users, or users that have considered it but also want a version on their phone. I use a Windows phone and so get these apps for free without a subscription, but I think it is to pull more people in to the subscription by adding more value.
          kstap
      • @DJK2

        Or maybe making those comments means I know exactly how useful office actually is on a phone, and know that I don't need full native access.
        If I can view, and make the occasional small edit, great. If I want to do more, I'll use something slightly more useful than the phone.
        Boothy_p
      • These are nothing more than "web apps"

        Nothing native about them. If you're required to Pay Microsoft, to use these Free Apps", then just how free are they? These are worse than "trialware", which is crap.
        Troll Hunter J
    • Unless you already have 365 for your Windows computer

      in which case it's free and a hell of a lot better than those others you've listed.
      Michael Kelly