Why it matters: Microsoft has simplified its Word, Powerpoint, and Excel apps on Android by combining them into a single unified application. This could be a good way to save time when working on multiple types of documents at once. Unfortunately, Android tablets and Chromebooks aren’t fully supported while iOS has been left out for now.
Microsoft has finally released its unified Office app after months of beta testing. The app allows the use of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel without having to download separate apps for each. Additional features include OneDrive integration and scanning documents using Office Lens.
Microsoft started testing in early 2019 before releasing a public preview later that year. It seemingly ended the program, however, despite a few APK files being leaked out.
Generally speaking, Microsoft Office on mobile was already considered a great alternative for productivity on the go — and mostly free. Both Google and Microsoft split their productivity apps up which could be useful if you only use one or two of those applications. However, having a unified app certainly simplifies things if you’re comfortable in Microsoft’s ecosystem.
There are a few caveats to be aware of. First, while the app is available for Android, it doesn’t seem to play nice with Android tablets and Chromebooks. In fact, even on phones, the app can’t be used in landscape mode. iPhone users and iOS tablets have not received this unifying update either, somewhat ironic because the iPad is a very capable document creating device, however we’ll likely learn more about upcoming updates later this year.