Microsoft releases final version of Office for Android

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Microsoft releases final version of Office for Android
Source: Microsoft

More free functionality than Office for iOS.

Android device users can now access the final release of Microsoft's Office productivity suite, with Word, Excel and PowerPoint made available for download.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, who heads up Microsoft's Office client, applications and services team said the Android apps were tested on 1900 phone models in 83 countries during the limited preview that opened in November last year.

As part of the feedback provided by preview users, Microsoft made it easer to connect the Office apps to third-party storage like Google Drive and Box 

Android version 4.4 'Kitkat' or newer is required to run the Office apps, and devices must have either an ARM architecture or Intel processor, Microsoft said.

As with Office for iOS, Microsoft is making the Android version available on a "freemium" basis, meaning users get basic document viewing and editing functionality, but will need to pay to unlock more advanced features.

Microsoft has walled off fewer premium features (that require an Office 365 subscription) in the Android productivity suite than it has in its equivalent for Apple's iOS mobile operating system.

When using Word for Android, an Office 365 subscription is required to:

  • Track and review changes
  • Change page orientation
  • Insert page and section breaks
  • Highlight table cells with custom colour shades
  • Enable columns in page layout
  • Customise headers and footers for different pages

Android PowerPoint users will need an Office 365 subscription to save annotations from slide shows and to highlight table cells with custom colour shading.

Apple iPhone and iPad Word users need Office 365 for the abovementioned features and to be able to add custom colours to shapes, insert and edit WordArt, add shadows and reflection styles to pictures, as well as to add and modify chart elements.

PowerPoint for iOS has six premium features that require Office 365:

  • Check your speaker notes while you present with Presenter View
  • Add custom colors to shapes
  • Insert and edit WordArt
  • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
  • Add and modify chart elements
  • Highlight table cells with custom colour shading

Whereas Excel for Android has no locked-away premium features, on iOS the following require Office 365:

  • Customise pivot table styles and layouts
  • Add custom colours to shapes
  • Insert and edit WordArt
  • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
  • Add and modify chart elements

Apart from Google's Play app store, the Office for Android Apps are also available from Samsung's Galaxy Store worldwide, and in Chinese vendor online stores such as Baidu, Xiami and Tencent.

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