Microsoft’s new converged Office app is now available for download by everyone, at least on the Android platform.
Microsoft has been publicly testing the new app since last November.
The new app, dubbed just ‘Office’, takes the company’s approach to a few years ago when it just had one application for word processing, handling spreadsheets and creating and editing presentations. Microsoft then, following Google’s lead, split up the app and released standalone Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps. Now, it’s back to where it all started.
The new app even incorporates access to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service that users are likely to be using to access and store their documents.
It also includes a QR reader. As we noted when we took the app for a spin 3 months ago, the new app also synchronizes any sticky notes one takes on their Windows 10 computer for easy access on the go. A variation of Microsoft’s Office Lens tool for digitizing hard copy documents like receipts and all is also built into the app.
A quick observation by those that have already taken the new app for a spin on Chromebooks and Android tablets is that it is not optimized for use on such displays. As such, users are restricted to an unpleasant portrait view while using the app.
Other users have reported some success using workarounds that force apps such as Office to launch in landscape mode. There’s no guarantee that the same will work for everyone but until Microsoft issues a fix, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to survive. It is worth noting that sticking with the old apps is still an option and may be highly advisable at least for those that want to make the most of their tablets and Chrome OS-based machines.
The app is compatible with devices running on any of the last 4 versions of Android to be released. It also needs the devices to have at least 1GB memory.