Microsoft Office now free for iPhone, iPad and Android (but here; s the caveat)

Microsoft Office now free for iPhone, iPad and Android (but here; s the caveat)Microsoft Office now free for iPhone, iPad and Android (but here’s the caveat)

Microsoft has just announced standalone, freemium versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Microsoft added, however, that the freemium Microsoft Office for Android tablets are still under beta testing, with the release of the apps some time next year. Microsoft Office for Android phones will be available for download very soon.

Meanwhile, iPhone and iPad users will now be able to enjoy using the new Microsoft Office, with the versions for the iPhone an extrapolation from the apps that are currently for the iPad.

Microsoft Office for iOS devices are also now universal, meaning that one download of the apps will allow it to work on both the user’s iPhone and iPad.

One important thing to note with the new freemium Microsoft Office apps is that they are not simple ports of the versions for the iPad. Instead, these new apps are updates that allows for additional features on both iOS devices, with each app receiving optimization upgrades to work better on which device it is being used on.

Before this release, the only available app was Office for iPhone, which is a single app that allows users to connect with their OneDrive. However, that did not allow the user to create documents, and required an Office 365 subscription for the user to do more than just read documents.

The new Word, Excel and Powerpoint are available for free download from the App Store, all coming with basic editing capabilities for documents under each app. For more advanced editing features, however, users will still require an Office 365 subscription.

In addition, the new apps are developed to work well on the smaller screen of the iPhone, with a Ribbon-like interface to allow all editing options to be accessed even while using only one hand on the smaller body of the iPhone.

The iPhone version of the apps also provides users with the Reflow option, which is a separate viewing option. Using Reflow makes documents fit better on the iPhone’s screen to make it easier for users to find where they need to make any changes on the document.

Users that would only need to make a few edits here and there while on the go might not need an Office 365 subscription to utilize the new apps. However, for those that are looking for a more comprehensive Microsoft Office experience, a personal subscription is $6.99 monthly to be able to download the apps on one desktop and mobile device each with access to the Web-based versions of the apps. A group subscription, which will allow the apps to be downloaded to five desktops and mobile devices, will cost $9.99 monthly.