If you subscribe to Microsoft’s Office 365 and have an Android phone with Android 4.0 or later, you’ll want to check out Office 365 for Android. I’ve been using it on my Galaxy S4 for a few months and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed. I will admit that I don’t use my phone as my primary productivity advice. I have a Surface Pro tablet that I use for running the full version of Office 365.
Office 365 differs from the traditional Microsoft Office model in that you pay $99 yearly or $9.99 monthly for an Office 365 Home Premium subscription that includes Word, OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access that you can use on up to five computers and five mobile devices.
Office 365 for Android is a pared down version that offers, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. OneNote is available as a separate app for Android and I highly recommend it.
So what does Office 365 for Android offer? You can create, edit and view both Word and Excel documents. And I have to say that both types of documents look pretty good on my phone.
Here’s an example of a Word document:
I’ve found that type styles and formatting stay fairly true to the original. Tapping the pencil icon at the top will allow you to edit the document.
An onscreen keyboard will appear and you can immediately start typing.
You can also search within documents.
Plus view your documents in an outline mode.
Excel documents display nicely as well, though I haven’t fully explored the functionality of spreadsheets for my personal use.
You can display, make small changes to and take notes about PowerPoint presentations, but you cannot create them or make major edits using this app.
The SkyDrive is what makes it all possible. Microsoft’s cloud storage service allows you to share and sync your documents across devices. I can finish up something at work on my PC and save it to my SkyDrive then open and edit that document on my Surface tablet or phone and save the changes. I do find it very convenient to be able to access and edit documents when I’m out and about on my phone or to read office documents sent as attachments to e-mails using my phone. The subscription comes with 20 GB of cloud storage on top of seven free GB that Microsoft offers to anyone who signs up for the cloud.
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t suggest getting a $99 subscription to Office 365 just to use on your phone, this is a lightweight version. But if you have Office 365 already or are considering purchasing a subscription, it is certainly worth giving the app a try. It’s free to download and I find that it works extremely well.