Microsoft; s Office app that replaces Word, Excel, and PowerPoint hits general availability

Microsoft; s Office app that replaces Word, Excel, and PowerPoint hits general availabilityMicrosoft’s Office app that replaces Word, Excel, and PowerPoint hits general availability.

Microsoft today launched Office for Android and iOS in general availability. The unified app means you no longer need to download, install, and switch between the individual Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. The company today also announced new features coming to the app this spring: Word Dictation, Excel Cards View, and Outline to PowerPoint. You can download the app now for Android phones and tablets (limited support) from Google Play and for iOS from Apple’s App Store (iPhone-only, iPad support is coming later). You can use Office for free, and if you sign in with a Microsoft Account or connect a third-party storage service you can access and store documents in the cloud.

Microsoft has over 200 million monthly active Office 365 business users and over 37 million Office 365 consumer subscribers. When the company launched the new Office mobile app as a public preview in November, “tens of thousands of people” rushed to try it. Microsoft has found that most users and businesses want to use the Office app as a hub or starting point for all their document work. “The idea behind the Office app is to give our users a single place from which they can access all their relevant content,” Office product manager Nithya Sampathkumar told VentureBeat. But that’s not the only reason to adopt it — Microsoft’s push to roll out nifty AI features in Office is especially noticeable in this launch.

Between public preview and general availability, the Office app has gained several enhancements. On both Android and iOS, Office now includes templates to help you create new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, as well as support for third-party cloud storage services Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. On iOS, you can now create a Presentation from images and use Dark Mode. On Android, Office gained a bunch of tablet optimizations.

Additive features.

The only functionality that the standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps have that Office doesn’t yet have is optimized tablet support on Android and iOS. Other than that, all the functionality of the existing mobile apps is there. You can thus uninstall the other three apps if you’d like. After all, the Office app does take up less space than the three apps. Additionally, businesses now only need to deploy and update one app. We asked Microsoft 365 general manager Rob Howard if the three will be killed off, and he said no.