News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday July 31, 2013.
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Microsoft has released Office Mobile for Office 365, the subscription-based and cloud-supporting document creation tool, for Android. Available for iOS since June, Office Mobile 365 enables Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document creation straight from the source. The app works by linking with a SkyDrive or SharePoint account and keeping documents stored online in a cloud locker that regularly synchronizes across devices. Someone can start a document on a desktop computer and then edit on their smartphone, or vice versa. A list of recent documents appears on the phone or desktop, and changes saved to documents are universal.
Office Mobile for Office 365 has many more features, including formatting documents; insert graphics, charts, or animations; editing attachments, and an auto-bookmarking function that resumes from the last place someone read when using the app. Of course, its most important features are the ability to synchronize offline and store files locally so users can read or edit documents when a connection is lost.
The drawback to this set-up is that an Office 365 subscription is required. Microsoft offers a number of different payment structures and tiers for its subscriptions, but the continual costs may not be ideal for many. In some cases, it may be easier to simply pay the one time fee to get a premium Office Android app like OfficeSuite Pro or Polaris. In many devices, like Samsung's Galaxy series, there are actually preloaded apps that provide document editing at no cost. Then there's Google Docs, a free app that also provides cloud synchronization.
Microsoft Office Mobile 365
The advantage to using Office Mobile 365 is that for people who continue to prefer using the desktop Microsoft Office, they get true synchronization with their mobile device. The Microsoft Office 2013 desktop program supports resume reading and recent documents list, something other Android Office apps do not. It also has comments from editors or collaborators and the ability to share a document through SkyDrive or SharePoint. For people who work in groups and don't use Google Docs, this has the potential to be something that sees more use.
Microsoft Office Mobile 365 requires a paid subscription and Android 4.0 or later. It currently supports only phones and not tablets.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.