February 19, 2020 Update: The Office app has now reached general availability and is free for anyone to download through the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. Please read our latest post on the Microsoft 365 Blog for more information.
Today we are excited to share a new vision for how people get work done on a phone – a new app that’s ambitious enough to simply be called Office.
Update on iOS public preview: Per the terms of Apple’s TestFlight program, the public preview for iOS apps is restricted to a maximum capacity of 10,000 users. We saw extraordinarily strong interest in the Office app and reached the capacity limit for iOS within a few hours of today’s announcement. We are thrilled and flattered by the interest and look forward to reaching general availability of the app for everyone to use. The public preview for the Android version of the Office app is not subject to the same download limits and continues to be available for download.
Vision for working on mobile devices
We all rely on mobile devices more than ever for getting work done whether that’s at a job, at home, or at school. There are many great mobile productivity apps available such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to help us do that, however we still believe an opportunity exists to create a more mobile-centric experience for these types of apps.
The new Office mobile app represents our vision for what a productivity solution would look like if first built for mobile devices. In designing this new experience, we first considered how people’s expectations differ when using a phone versus a computer, so we set out to optimize for simplicity, efficiency, and common mobile needs. Next, we explored how to better incorporate the unique ways that people input data and create content on a mobile device – essentially turning the phone form factor from a liability for doing work into an asset. Finally, we needed to ensure that this app met the high expectations people already have for Office solutions. This solution should feel familiar to the people that know and rely on them today and instill a sense of confidence that they can accomplish their work with the high degree of quality and security that they have come to know.
A new mobile productivity experience
We are excited to introduce to our solution to this endeavor. The Office app provides a simple, integrated experience that puts the tools you need for working on a mobile device at the forefront of the experience. We started by combining the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app. Doing so brings all of your Office documents together in one place, reduces the need to switch between multiple apps, and significantly reduces the amount of space used on your phone compared to multiple installed apps. We then added new capabilities that harness the strengths of mobile devices, such as the camera, to enable you to create content in uniquely mobile ways. Finally, we added a new Actions Pane that helps you accomplish many of the common mobile tasks you need to do all from one place.
Whether using it for personal or professional reasons, Office is designed to be your go-to app for getting work done on a mobile device. Let’s take a closer look at what makes it different:
Now available in public preview
The Office mobile app is available in public preview starting today for Android and iOS*. It is super easy to get started with the app – anyone can download and use it for free and we don’t require a sign-in to start using it. However, logging in with a work, school, or personal Microsoft Account gives you access to your files stored in the cloud, and you can sign in with more than one account to make it easy to get to all of your documents in one place.
The app is currently available only on phones, although we will bring this experience to tablets as well. Since this is a public preview, we are very interested in hearing from you about what you like, don’t like, or would like to see in the app so we encourage you to provide feedback through the “Help & Feedback” tool under Settings. We continue to work hard on making the app an even more powerful tool for getting work done, so keep an eye out for more to come with Office.
We know many people are probably wondering, what does this mean for the current mobile apps? In short, we will continue to support and invest in the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps. We are proud that millions of people use and depend on these apps every day and we believe everyone should decide which experience works best for them on their phones. However, we do encourage everyone to give the new Office app a try – we think it will change your expectations for what you think a mobile productivity experience should be.
No other app combines the simplicity, efficiency, and capability for getting work done on a phone quite like Office. Get started now on Android and stayed tuned for further updates on availability for iOS*!
* Please note: Per the terms of Apple’s TestFlight program, the public preview is capped at 10,000 users. We reached this limit on the first day of availability and the public preview for iOS is no longer available to new users.
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