Microsoft has finally announced the official launch of its Office suite of apps for Android phones. The Universal Office apps are now live on Google Play for Android phone users to download and use right away. Though surprisingly, it is not compatible with Android M
While, the Office apps for tablets have been available since January, its phone counterpart had been a long overdue and has now been rolled out specially optimized for smaller displays. Most of the controls are now housed at the bottom of the screen, now making it easier for users with phones. While apart from built-in OneDrive integration, Microsoft has also added support for competing services like Google Drive, Box and Dropbox as well.
An added subscription to Office 365 will be required if users intend to unlock all the extensive features found on the app’s desktop version.
“The goal of these apps is to make sure that as people think about working, creating and doing, they think of Office as the default,” said Microsoft.
Microsoft says that it has taken due note of the feedback coming from 1900 different Android devices in 83 countries from users who have installed the preview versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It not only allowed them to track down bugs, but also gave them valuable inputs regarding the user interface and other features. The new Office apps will now replace the older Office Mobile, and requires at least 1GB of RAM and Android 4.0 and above. This suite of apps will also come pre-installed on devices from prominent manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Sony and more.
“Today I’m excited to announce that 20 additional global and local OEM partners, including LG, Sony, Haier, Positivo and Wortmann, will make Microsoft productivity applications and services available on their Android tablets,” said Corporate Vice President of OEMs division at Microsoft. These 31 partners will offer Android tablets pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype in the near future. They will be available on a new LG tablet, and Sony will include them on their Xperia Z4 tablet in the next 90 days.
The move clearly indicates the company’s strategy to expand its cross-platform strategy. The Office has now come a long way than being just largely associated with Windows desktops, thanks to Microsoft’s efforts to make sure its users can use its popular suite of apps across all platforms. The move seems to be working for now; the company said back in April that the combined iOS and Android downloads have already surpassed a 100 million downloads.