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Check out Microsoft’s unified Office app for Android phones

Microsoft has just released its all-in-one Office app for Android following a limited release for developers last November.

Bringing together Word, Excel, and Powerpoint under one roof is supposed to make it easier for you to skip between the different tools while getting stuff done, saving both time and hassle.

It should be noted, however, that the new Office app isn’t optimized for tablets or Chromebooks, a deficiency that will disappoint those who had been expecting such functionality. Android Police spotted how the app stays locked in portrait mode on tablets and lacks a tablet-specific user interface.

Also, there’s no word yet on whether there will be a unified Office app for the iPhone. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to ask if it’s in the works and will update this piece when we hear back.

As with the stand-alone Office apps, the new, free offering lets you create, edit, and work together on a range of documents and tasks, whether by yourself or with others in real-time.

A range of templates is offered, too, so you can quickly set to work on your résumé, budget, presentations, and other activities.

Microsoft Office for Android
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft Office for Android also lets you easily store, access, and search for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files kept in your personal cloud storage, on your device, or, if you’re using a work account, across your organization.

Neat time-saving tricks already familiar to users of the stand-alone apps include the ability to snap a photo of a document and instantly turn it into an editable Word file — you can do the same with a picture of a table, transforming it into an Excel spreadsheet so you can work with the data.

Other quick-action tasks let you instantly create PDF files from photos or Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, and the ability to easily transfer files between your phone and a computer or to share instantly with nearby mobile devices.

Microsoft’s move to bring together Word, Excel, and PowerPoint under one roof is the opposite of what Google did in 2014 when it split Drive’s productivity tools into separate apps for mobile.

If you’ve been using Microsoft Office but are interested in checking out the competition, Digital Trends has some useful suggestions for Office alternatives available across multiple platforms.

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Trevor Mogg
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