Office is one of the crown jewels of Microsoft, as we all know. For all the attempts that have been made to replace Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint, they are still giants on their respective fields and still retain the majority of the market. Recent Microsoft Office versions have made it so the service is now also tied to an optional cloud service component, allowing you to sync and work on documents in collaboration, online. Now, Microsoft has also released a free to use Microsoft Office app for Android, which allows you to create documents and sync them to your desktop PC very easily. Let’s take a look!
While Microsoft has its own mobile OS with Windows Phone, it has recently decided to start supporting and extending their services to other platforms, including Android and iOS. That’s why this app is now updated, allowing Android users to also take advantage of the Office 365 cloud service. You can now edit, create and download your documents to your phone, and then send them back to the cloud when you’re done. It’s pretty nifty, although obviously not a revolutionary feature – Google Docs has been doing this for a very long time. Still, it’s nice to have, and nice to see.
You can download the Microsoft Office Mobile app for free by following this link. To start, just log in with your Microsoft account (the same you use in Office) and you’re all set. From there, you can download, create, edit and view your favorite documents:
It’s worth pointing out that this app is surprisingly high-quality. You’d probably expect Microsoft to make a bare-bones, slow, unoptimized app for a rival OS, but in fact, the app is great. Editing and viewing standard Word and Excel files is much faster than any alternative I have ever worked with, and in terms of scrolling and navigation, it’s awesome. It’s smooth, fast and allows you to see your documents in all their traditional glory:
For example, in this sample Powerpoint presentation, the visual effects (transitions, fades, scrolls) can be seen on the app as if they were on the actual screen:
Navigating an Excel spreadsheet is also fast and responsive, and actually makes you feel like you could work on this while on a tablet, even with a touch keyboard. Editing individual cells is easy, and the pinch to zoom functionality is great.
Overall, this is a great app that you should download if you happen to use Microsoft Office on your computer (or at least, a version of Office that actually supports the Office 365 service). More than a companion app, this really feels like a great way to prototype and read your documents on the go. Since it also allows you to make changes to your existing documents, it’s great for adding notes as well, or going through a presentation you’re about to have. Besides being fast and easy to use, the app also has all sorts of neat effects and attention to detail in regular usage, which makes for a very pleasing experience. It’s hard to ask for more, especially for a free app, so if you think you might get some mileage out of this, I’d give it a shot!