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Microsoft Office made big waves in mobile earlier this summer when it came to the iPhone, but now it’s making an even bigger splash on world’s No. 1 mobile platform, Android. Starting Wednesday, Office 365 subscribers will be able to download and run the Office Mobile app for Android.
The Android version of Office only works on phones. Owners of Android tablets, just like iPad users, will have to settle for Office web apps since they won’t be able to download the official app from Google Play (side-loading, of course, is always an option). Android phones must be running version 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” or later.
Like the iPhone version, the app is a free download, but you must subscribe to Office to run the programs. Subscribers are allowed to run Office on up to five mobile devices, which don’t count against the five PCs or Macs that can install the desktop apps. Windows RT and Windows Phone devices don’t count against either total. (Those numbers differ a bit for student or business accounts.)
One difference on Android: You can’t buy a subscription to Office like you can in the iPhone app. (You’ll have to go to the web for that.) But otherwise, you get the same Word, Excel and PowerPoint, optimized for the smaller real estate on a smartphone screen. Once you start editing in Word, for example, the “chrome” of the app disappears, letting you focus on the document.
SkyDrive is the default place to save documents and the programs work pretty much as they do on iPhone, albeit with Android functionality and design elements. Plus, Office subscribers get an extra 20GB of storage. Office Mobile for Windows Phone still has the home-field advantage over Android, though, with its ability to open copy-protected files and hookups to SharePoint and Lync.
The app is currently only available in the United States, but Microsoft says it will be available in dozens of other countries over the next “several weeks” — from Albania to Zimbabwe.
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Source: Associated Press