Microsoft releases public preview of Office for Android phone apps

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 20 May 2015
Microsoft releases public preview of Office for Android phone apps

In its latest move to make Microsoft Office available to users on any platform and on any device, Microsoft has released public previews of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phones. This follows the launch of Office apps for iOS devices and Android tablets earlier this year.

Much like their Android tablet counterparts, the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phones incorporate the familiar look and feel of Office, but have been tweaked so they work seamlessly on Android phones. This means that they’re touch optimised. Microsoft has also shifted the navigation and menu options ribbon to the bottom of the screen so that it’s within easy reach of your thumbs when reviewing and editing documents.

The apps integrate with OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box, so you can access documents stored in the cloud. You can also make edits to documents, track changes and share them by e-mailing a hyperlink or attachment.

The apps replace the existing Office Mobile app for Android phone, although that will still be available to download until they come out of beta.

“Bringing these apps to preview first provides you with an early look at the apps, while enabling us to gather critical user feedback helping us shape and improve the app experience on a wide range of Android phones across the world,” said Jared Spataro, general manager for the Office 365 marketing team, in a blog post.

If you’re interested in trying out the apps for yourself, first you need to join the Office for Android community and then become a tester by clicking the links to the Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Once Google Play replicates permissions (this takes around four hours), you then need to click the aforementioned links again and follow the download instructions.

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