One of the selling points for most of the Microsoft cloud based Office 365 subscriptions is the ability to use the software on mobile devices. Up until recently, however, there wasn’t an Android app that would let you use your subscription directly from your phone. Now there is.
According to Phandroid, the Android companion app for Microsoft Office 365 is finally available. It only took two years longer than expected but it has finally hit the Google Play store. You can download the app for free but you can’t use it without a subscription to Office 365.
You also have to have the right subscription or you won’t be able to use the app. According to Microsoft’s Office Home comparison the subscription version of the software will allow you to use it on up to five computers and five mobile devices including Android and iOS. With the business versions of Office 365, you can access and edit documents with the Small Business Premium and Midsize Business versions on Android phones and iPhones but you don’t have that option with the basic Small Business Version.
Right now it looks as if Microsoft is limiting the mobile feature to its own Windows phones, iPhone and Android phones. The only tablets with the ability to access and edit Office 365 documents are Windows tablets. Apps are not available (yet?) for Android or Apple tablets. At the rate that Windows RT tablets are not selling, that could change.
Most people purchase Microsoft products and use them until they have to purchase a new computer which can be three years or more. They don’t particularly bother with purchasing the updates until they have to. With the subscription home versions, you pay a yearly fee to use Office 365. True that means that you will always have the latest version but that also means that you will be paying considerably more than if you purchase the Office product once and use it for three years or more.
The new Android app is free, as is the iOS app, adding a bit more convenience to Microsoft’s Office 365 users. Still most people are not going to be using their phones for any major editing of Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents. Now if they expand the apps to Android tablets and iPads it could be a different story.