Microsoft’s all-in-one Office app is ready for primetime. The mobile-first application, which the company announced last November, has already been available as a public preview. That version was limited to Android users that signed up through a specific Google Group and 10,000 iOS testers that registered via Apple’s TestFlight program, however. The consumer-ready Android app slipped into the Play Store earlier this week a littler earlier than planned. For now, the Android app has “limited” tablet support, and there’s no iPad-specific version.
All of the main apps are combined, meaning you can switch between documents quickly, scan PDFs, and even capture whiteboards, text, and tables into digital versions. Microsoft is also adding support for third-party cloud storage like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. Today’s release will also be available on Android tablets with “limited support,” and a fully optimized tablet experience will be available on both iPadOS and Android soon.
While the initial feature set will be useful for quickly creating templates, scanning tables, and just using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files on the go, Microsoft has more mobile-focused features planned. Word dictation looks set to be one of the most interesting. You’ll be able to use Word within this Office app to dictate your voice into text. There’s even a voice command bar for adding punctuation like commas, question marks, and exclamation marks.
Microsoft is planning to make Excel easier to use on mobile with a new cards view. You’ll be able to view and edit data from Excel rows in a card view that makes it a lot easier to see on a vertical phone screen. Excel was designed with columns and wider screens in mind, and often, you’ll scroll across a dataset and forget which line you were looking at. This new card view helps improve that for people who want to edit and view Excel sheets on the go.
Microsoft is also revealing some features that will ship “in the next few months.” These include dictation for Microsoft Word and a special ‘Cards View’ that turns long Excel rows into a more smartphone-friendly vertical list. PowerPoint, meanwhile, will be getting an ‘Outline’ option that lets you quickly create, title and order slides for your next presentation. Powerpoint will then turn that skeleton into a barebones but perfectly presentable slide deck with nice typography, iconography and styling.
If you’re interested in the new Office app, it should be available to download now through the Play Store and App Store.