Microsoft has released a new update to the OneNote for Android app that brings several new and advanced editing features to the note taking app. The update, version 15.0.3931.1008 for those keeping score at home, follows up on the general release of the entire Office for Android Phone yesterday. While a part of the Office suite as a whole, OneNote for Android has been out for Android phone and tablets for some time now and is on a different development cycle. This app is also free and it uses your OneDrive account to store and sync your notes.
After spending the last few months in Preview (Beta) mode, Microsoft has officially launched the Office for Android Phone apps to the general public. The new Excel, PowerPoint and Word apps are now universal apps for both Android tablets & phones and are available for free from the Google Play Store. If you have a device that is under 10.1″ in screen size, they are able to view, create and edit files while those with an Office 365 subscription will have every feature fully enabled.
For those who keep score at home, the Office for Android new versions are builds 16.0.4201.1008.
I’ve been testing the Office for Android apps for the entire Preview period and while there were a few bugs here and there, generally speaking they were all solid on performance and stability. The release today brings some additional features to the apps including support for Google Drive.
Yesterday I ran into a problem with the new Office for Android apps where I was not able to see all of my folders from OneDrive in the app. As you may know, the Office for Android apps look to OneDrive (and other storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox) for documents. In my OneDrive, I have 6 total folders including my Pictures folder but only 2 of them were showing up. I tried several things to get them to appear including resetting the apps on both my OnePlus One and Galaxy Tab 4 but I still got no joy. That’s when I turned to Google+ and asked for help from the Microsoft Office for Android team. Today I got an answer and this little work around works perfectly.
Microsoft has released an update to the Office for Android apps today and it is an utter mystery what is addressed in the update. All three of the Office apps – Excel, PowerPoint and Word – have received an update and they are available now for those who have Android Tablets and if you are in the Office for Android Phone preview, you will see them available on your phone. The version of the builds is 16.0.4201.1004 for those keeping score at home. While mysterious “bug fix and performance improvement” updates are common in the Google Play Store, updates with literally no release notes are not as common (but not unheard of). What Microsoft addressed in these updates is only known to them at this point but I think it is safe to assume that they are aimed at the phone builds.
A couple of weeks ago I did a quick overview of Microsoft’s preview of Word for Android Phone. Since that overview, Microsoft has already released another update to the preview, giving it more stability and improving some of the functionality. Now it is time to look at PowerPoint for Android Phone. Like Word (and Excel), it is also in Preview (or as it use to be called, beta) so if you decide to download these apps you may run into the odd behavior or bug.
PowerPoint for Android Phone is impressive. In my “day job” I use PowerPoint on a daily basis and regardless of platform – Windows Phone, Android or iOS – I have found Office for Mobile (the old Microsoft Office app for phones) to be very limiting and in some cases, useless. That is not the case with the new breed of Office apps and PowerPoint for Android phone is a prime example. It is feature rich and easy to navigate, a far cry from it’s predecessor. In fact, if you were stuck with only your Android Phone and had to create a presentation, this app is more than powerful enough to allow you to do it including things like slide transitions and photo inserts. It is as close to desktop PowerPoint as you can get on a phone and unless you have some very specific need, PowerPoint for Android Phone will do 99% of what the average user needs.
Earlier today I posted that Microsoft had released a preview of their Office apps for Android Phone today. The new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are stand alone individual apps that are far superior to the old Office Mobile and are in line with the path that the company is making for Office across all device platforms. I’ve spent a fair amount of time today with each of them and wanted to provide some quick feedback on them to everyone who is on the fence about downloading them. First I’m going to take a look at Word for Android Phone and I’ll post similar quick looks for Excel and PowerPoint later on in the week.
Word for Android Phone is really impressive and if you have used it on your Android tablet you are going to find the experience very similar – exactly what Microsoft is trying to achieve. Within the app you can create and edit documents on devices with screens 10.1″ or smaller but to get all the benefits of it, you really need an Office 365 account. An Office 365 Personal account is $69.99 and available from the Microsoft Store or you can go with Office 365 Home where you can install the Office apps on up to 5 PCs or Macs along with mobile devices.
Microsoft has released another update to Outlook for Android today, bringing improved navigation and several bug fixes to the app. The update, version 1.2.5 for those keeping score at home, is available now and is highly recommended for those who are using the email app. While the improve navigation elements actually were release last week in version 1.2, they have been smoothed out a good bit in this update. You shouldn’t see the hesitation many users were experiencing when moving between accounts or from mail to calendar or people for example.