Microsoft released the long-awaited iPhone version of its Office productivity suite recently, and now it’s showing that it’s not picky about platforms with the Android version, out now. Office for Android is smartphone-only, just like how Office for iPhone doesn’t come with an iPad version, and it’s also limited to Office 365 subscribers, but if you satisfy both those conditions, you can get making those PowerPoints, Word docs and Excel spreadsheets now.
The app itself is free, as was the iOS version, but Office 365 subscriptions are a must-have for anyone who actually wants to start being productive with it. Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite, and costs either $99 per year or $10 per month depending on your commitment term for home users, with different business pricing available.
There is little difference here between the iOS and Android versions of the app, and all indications are that Microsoft is doing its best to make the experience as cohesive as possible across platforms. The lack of a tablet-optimized version is somewhat disappointing, but also not surprising: Microsoft pushes the Office aspect of its Windows 8 OS and Surface devices hard, positioning that as a key productive differentiator between its devices and those on competing platforms.
The mobile apps appear to be essentially Microsoft offering up table stakes for a modern mobile productivity app, and a way to add incentive to its cloud subscription packages. As more productivity suite work goes cloud-based, and more users go mobile, MS can’t pretend that ignoring Android and IOS is a viable business strategy any longer, and these apps are proof.