By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 01, 2013 04:57 AM EDT
Microsoft is apparently widening the reach of its Office on mobile devices, as the company is now ready to share the popular app with Android users as well.
While Office may be an overdue addition to the Google Play Store, it comes with a catch. Actually, two catches. First of all, the app is available as a free download, but it requires subscriptions to Microsoft's Office 365 Home Premium and ProPlus service. The app may be free, but those subscriptions don't exactly come cheap. The second catch is that Microsoft Mobile for Android is not for the whole Android ecosystem, it's just for the phones. Android tablets are left out of this party.
"The release of this app shows that we're committed to keep providing additional value for Office 365 subscribers," Guy Gilbert, senior product manager at Microsoft, touted in a blog post.
With Office Mobile for Android users will now have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Instead of creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, however, these programs are rather intended for quickly adjusting existing work and sharing it. In other words, users will be able to start working on something on their PC and continue on their Android phone, picking up right where they left off. The files will sync with Microsoft's SkyDrive, just like all Office 365 documents.
Office is widely used and Microsoft has tried to leverage the suite's popularity for its own platform. Office comes pre-installed on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, while the rollout to iOS and Android comes with strings attached.
Microsoft rolled out Office Mobile for iOS back in June and, much like the new Android app, it comes as a free app but requires an Office 365 subscription.
The Office app is already available for download in the Google Play store, but only to U.S. users for now. According to Microsoft, Office for Android will become available in more countries within the next few weeks. In addition to the Office 365 subscription, users will also need to run Android 4.0 or higher on their phones. Microsoft made no mention of tablet support.
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