Microsoft Office for Android Review and How to Get It - Tech Marks The Spot

Microsoft Office is used by millions of people around the world. It is the gold standard for many when it comes to office suites. It is accessible, used almost universally, and it could be argued the most feature rich product available. Microsoft has released an all-in-one Office app for Android. It is still in testing but available to try out for anyone that wants to.  Is it any good? How do you get it so you can try it out?

Review of Microsoft Office for Android

I found the Microsoft Office app for Android to be quick and easy to install, set up, and use. While testing it the app did crash on me twice, but keep in mind that it is still in testing. Also, in the list of documents there were a lot of items listed that were old and no longer in my OneDrive  or on any of my devices, The app does allow you to remove these listings one by one. Is it as powerful of an experience as you get with Office on your desktop or laptop? Not at all. It is a suite with a lot of potential. I think as the bugs get worked out and features are added this could one day be one of the best office suites for Android. I think Microsoft is on the right track with this one. As I said before, it is still in testing so expect potential stability issues. If you already have something that works for you I'm not recommending that you uninstall it yet. I don't think Office for Android is ready to be the main office suite on your mobile device. I do believe that it might be worth your while to try Office for Android out and see what you think.

Disclaimer - This app is still being developed. It will have bugs.

How to Install Microsoft Office for Android

The installation is pretty straight forward. All you have to do is become a Microsoft tester, download the app, and install. The whole process takes only a few minutes. Here is a step by step on how to do it.

  1. Go to the Office app for Android site.

  2. Click the link to join the preview group and get the Office for Android app. 

  3. Click the "Join this group" button. 

  4. Click the link to download the app. 

  5. Click "BECOME A TESTER". 

  6. Click "download it on Google Play". 

  7. Click "Install". 

  8. Make sure the correct device is chosen and click "CONTINUE". 

  9. Sign in to your Google account if asked. 

  10. Click "OK". 

That's it. You now have Microsoft Office on your phone or tablet. Now that you have the app let's set it up so you can use it.

Set Up Microsoft Office for Android

  1. Open the Office app.
  2. Tap "ALLOW" because Office will need this access to work with your files.
  3. Tap the "Get Started" button.

Microsoft Office is all set up and ready for you to use on your Android device. Now you can create and edit Word documents, PowerPoint slideshows, and Excel spread sheets all in one app.

Introduction to Microsoft Office for Android

Let's take a closer look at the app we just installed. We are going to check out the features of the app and how to navigate them. When you open Office you will start at the Home Screen.

The Home Screen - This is where it all begins. It will display a list of your files and various buttons. The overall layout is clean and simple to navigate.

Navigation Dropdown - You will find this at the top of your screen. When you tap it you will get a choice between:

  • Word - Displays a list of Word Documents.
  • Excel - Displays a list of Excel spreadsheets.
  • PowerPoint - Displays a list of PowerPoint slideshows.
  • PDF - Displays a list of PDF files.
  • Media - Displays a list of media.
  • Notes - Displays a list of your notes.

Browse Button - This is located at the top of your screen. You can browse documents shared with you, your OneDrive, and files on your device.

Search - You can search for files to work with.

Add button - It is the big button with a "+" on it at the bottom of your screen. This is where you can create new files. There are three main options:

  • Notes - A simple editor to take notes with. One nice feature is the ability to share notes.
  • Lens - According to Microsoft, "Lens trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and docs readable. You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files, and you can even save images to OneNote or OneDrive."
  • Documents - This is the meat of the app and the part of Office that we are all familiar with. You can scan text, create a Word document, scan tables, create an Excel spreadsheet, and create PowerPoint presentations.

Action button - Just what it sounds like, this is where you can take actions on files. You can share files, convert text in an image, work with PDFs, and scan QR codes. Here is the breakdown:

  • Share Files - Transfer files between your PC and Android device or share them with nearby devices.
  • Convert text in images - You can choose between "Image to text" and "Image to table". I found this to be a really cool feature. You can use an image on your device or  take a picture of something with text on it and this feature will copy the text to your clipboard, share it with others, or place it in a table.
  • Do more with PDFs - Sign PDFs, scan a picture into a PDF, create a PDF from pictures, or convert documents into PDFs.
  • More Actions - Scan QR codes and open the results, share it with others, or save the results in a note.

Now that you know how to get it and the different features it provides the only thing left is to try it out. Have you tried Office for Android? What did you think? What is your favorite mobile office suite?