Microsoft has started rolling out an update to PowerPoint for Android that has a new Shape Recognition feature. The update now gives you the option to have the app recognize any shape you draw with your finger or stylus in free form and snap that into a perfect version of that shape. So, for example, if you draw a square, with this feature enabled, you will get a perfectly formed square on your slide instead of your free form version. You can, of course, not enable this, but it is super handy and is something that until now hasn’t been in the mobile version of the app.
The Microsoft Office suite of apps for Android – Excel, PowerPoint and Word – have all been updated today with several new features and improvements. Perhaps the biggest new feature across all three apps is the ability to store your files on an SD card on your device. To this point you could only save your files in your device’s main storage. That can be problematic for those who do a lot of file editing on their devices, especially those with low storage devices. This new feature, which is across all three apps, should help solve that problem. There is nothing special you as a user have to do other than tell the apps to store on your SD card. Your device, however, must be running Android Lollipop or later to take advantage of this feature. All three apps now also give you the ability to annotate files. You can use a stylus or your finger to write, draw or highlight. These new tools found in the Draw tab, a new tab in each app.
The Microsoft Android team has been busy. Earlier this morning I told you about a major update to the Next Lock Screen app for Android. Now the Office team has rolled out an update to the Android versions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word. All three of the updates are now in the Google Play Store and you should be seeing them hit your devices at any point. The big news in these updates is the addition of the Tell Me feature in the apps. If you aren’t familiar with Tell Me, you probably have it and don’t know it. If you run Office 2016 on your PC or Mac, at the top of any of the apps there is a search box titled “Tell me what you want to do”. Type in what you are wanting to do in any of the apps and it will give you instructions on how to do it. It is far faster than trying to dumpster dive into the menus of the apps. That same feature is now available in the Android versions of the apps so you can quickly figure out how to do something without having to search around.