Microsoft today launched Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Android phones. Previously in preview, the apps have now hit general availability on Google Play (Android 4.4 KitKat and up required): Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The launch follows Microsoft’s big Office news in November, when it made mobile editing free and launched Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPhone, as well as the same apps in preview for Android tablets. In January, Microsoft released the Android tablet apps out of preview, and then in May, the company launched the preview phone apps.
In both cases, Microsoft released the previews to gather user feedback and improve the app experience on a wide range of Android devices. “We are so grateful to our preview users, and with their help we were able to test the apps on over 1,900 different Android phone models in 83 countries,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team.
To be clear, Microsoft used to offer an Office Mobile app for iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones. For months, the company has been working to split this app on all these platforms into separate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Android phones are the last ones to make the jump.
Microsoft has previously outlined the following Office features for Android phone users:
- Familiar and consistent Office experience: The Office apps combine the familiar look, feel, and quality of Office with a touch-friendly experience designed for Android phones. Documents open and render with all formatting and content in the right place. In addition, familiar navigation and menu options in the ribbon are placed at the bottom of the screen within reach of your thumbs so you can easily review and edit documents on your phone.
- Do great work — anywhere, anytime: Read, review, and make edits on-the-go. Turn numbers into insights with easy insertion of charts, text and tables in Excel. Tell your story on-the-go with PowerPoint — review, make quick edits and even present right from your phone. Reflow documents in Word to make them easier to read and navigate.
- Access your documents quickly: Create, open, edit, and save files in the cloud from your Android phone so you can access them anywhere and anytime you need them. Google Drive, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Box, Dropbox, and SharePoint are all available.
- Work together: Share ideas, insights, presentations with others right from your phone. Track changes, comment, and mark up docs. Share your documents with others by simply emailing a hyperlink or attachment.
Also in May, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Mobile preview, along with universal Office apps for phones and very small tablets. Windows users thus received touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on their phones before Android users, though it wasn’t clear which platform would get them out of preview first.
Now it’s clear: iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones all got their own separate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps before the universal Office apps were released for touch-first Windows devices. This really is a new Microsoft — one that prioritizes users rather than just its own platforms.