This app turns your Android phone into a remote for Office presentations

Say good-bye to the old clicker for presentations. Instead, consider Office Remote for Android; a robust controller for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in the conference room.

Got an Android phone? You might want to add the free Microsoft Office Remote app to it before your next presentation at work. You'll also need to install a small plug-in app to your Windows PC to manage the connection between your phone and your computer.

Here's a demonstration video of the Windows Phone version, showing many of the features.

Essentially, Office Remote turns your handset into a robust Bluetooth remote control tool for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The latter Office app has a handy, unique feature that goes beyond remote control: Using the touchscreen on your phone, you can display a virtual laser pointer to highlight specific parts of your presentation.

Unlike a traditional "clicker" that lets you move forward and back between slides and such, Office Remote uses the touchscreen of a phone to its advantage. You can navigate between different Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, for example, thanks to seeing the files on your Android phone screen. Zooming in during a presentation is also possible with the app, as is jumping to named objects in Excel or to specific heading in Word.

Office Remote for Android follows an app of the same name that Microsoft launched in November, 2013 for its Windows Phone handsets. The features are generally the same; this is simply a version for Android phones.

Given that Microsoft is now taking a "go where the users are" strategy to bring its software and services to other mobile platforms, I would expect an Office Remote app for iOS to follow in the near future.