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Smartphones & gadgets

Microsoft’s new mobile app puts Office in your pocket

We write about Microsoft Office quite a bit here at For example, tap here to learn how to get MS Office free. We write about it because it’s almost universal software is so important to students, employees and business owners — and it’s about to level-up its mobile app version.  

That’s right, the mobile app of a major software brand is an improvement on the original product. That isn’t especially true with programs like Photoshop, so Microsoft really raised the bar on major software brands here.

How did Microsoft improve on an already impressive software package? They kept some key features the same, and added some new ones to bring it to a whole new level.

Same great software…

The Office mobile app gives you access to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all in one place. You can open, create and edit files for each of these programs in one Office app.

Related: Tap or click here for 4 cool and easy Microsoft Excel hacks

Note: Currently, Office mobile’s preview trials are only available on smartphones, though a tablet version may be in development.

Office mobile lets you easily share and store documents on Microsoft’s cloud service, OneDrive, so like Office Online, you can access documents on the go without using valuable memory space on your phone. Working in Office mobile files is the same as in the regular Microsoft Office Suite, just type with your phone’s keyboard instead.

Getting the most popular Office applications mobile, without a tablet, is already a huge win — particularly for those of us who work on the go. But the new features offered on Office mobile really take this app above and beyond.

…with great new features

We already mentioned that the Office mobile app puts the Office Suite in one convenient spot where you can access all of your Microsoft documents. That’s one great new feature, but there are many more.

Like the Sticky Notes application on your Windows desktop as a digital Post-It? Sticky Notes comes on the Office mobile app, so jotting down ideas is easier than ever.

The real genius feature is how it utilizes your phone’s camera in incredibly useful ways. Want to scan a document quickly? Office mobile can do that through your phone’s camera, and you can quickly convert it to a PDF.

Want to make that scanned document editable? Most scanning apps don’t have that option, but with Office mobile, you can get a picture of a document and turn it into an editable Word file with a single button! How about turning a table in a printout, or on a display, into an Excel spreadsheet? The Office app can do that too.

In PowerPoint, you can quickly and easily access your phone’s camera library to pick pictures for presentations. The Office Lens feature makes taking pictures of documents, tables, whiteboards and other people’s presentations better, as the lens enhances the object you’re photographing.

All of the documents and spreadsheets made with your camera can be easily shared to your computer through the cloud, so you can edit and use them there too.

If you need to sign a document right away, but you can’t print and scan it at the moment, the Office mobile app lets you sign with your finger and lets you place that signature wherever it needs to be.

So not only can you turn objects around you into Word and Excel documents with the press of a single button, but you can sign projects quickly while out and about. This app clearly makes office tasks more productive. Check out this promo video to learn more:

How to get the app

After seeing the features above, we’re sure you want to get the Office mobile app as much as we do (seriously, being able to make an image into an editable document is completely mind-blowing, and something we need right now!). Lucky for everyone, the Office mobile app is available in a preview form — at least it is for Android users.

Sorry, iOS users, Microsoft had a public preview of Office mobile in Apple’s TestFlight program, a place where you can try out all sorts of apps. Previews in TestFlight are restricted to 10,000 users, and Microsoft hit that number quickly.

If you have Android, the public preview is very much available to you. Just click here, and follow the on-screen instructions to join the preview group. Once you’re in, you should get the link to get the app automatically.

Once you have the app, you can start using it right away, and we’re sure you’ll want to. After all, being able to work on your phone will make you so much more productive, and being able to use your camera for so many cool features will make your work so much easier.

The Office mobile app will definitely be available for everyone once it fully launches. We’re just waiting on the official launch date to be announced. In the meantime, perhaps now is a good time to brush up on your Word and Excel know-how. Tap or click here for 5 tricks to get the most out of MS Word and Excel.

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