After we saw a demo of an iPad running Office apps, Android fans wondered, rather vocally, when we would also get to take part in the business grade festivities.
Oh sure we had an Office Phone app for basic viewing, editing, and formatting, but it lacked proper tablet support.
All that changed yesterday when Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and Powerpoint tablet apps were finally approved on Google Play. Each service is an individual app, and downloading the apps is totally free. When not linked with an Office 365 subscription, the apps function as viewers, and wont allow you to edit docs or spreadsheet. Though with unlimited cloud storage coming to OneDrive with an Office 365 subscription, it’s not a bad value when compared to other cloud storage solution.
Linking to Office 365 opens up a full world of document and presentation creation and editing, very similar to what we saw on the iPad version. The full toolsets of Office are included, with advanced formating and formula support, and are well optimized for touch screen use. Tied directly into Office Online, OneDrive, and can be linked to DropBox, it’s a fairly robust ecosystem for sharing and collaborating.
As they’re beefy services, the download sizes are pretty large. Expect all three apps together to clock in at around 370MB. There’s also an issue with compatibility. Most of the tablets I ave lying around are not yet approved to install the apps. No Asus Transformer, no NVIDIA Shield, even the newer Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 was a no go, so my first impressions were performed on a Nexus 7.
Still it’s a great collection for Android, and now Windows Tablet and Phone fans can start the waiting game as we should see touch optimized Office apps arrive with Windows 10.