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Office Apps for Android Phones Hit General Availability

Microsoft's Office Apps for Android smartphones are now available for commercial use.

Released to preview just a little over a month ago, the final versions of Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phones became available to download from the Google Play store on Wednesday. A native Outlook app for Android phones has already been available since April, while the OneNote for Android app has been available since last fall.

The launch of the Android smartphone apps on Wednesday comes roughly six months after Microsoft released its suite of Office apps for Android tablets.

Like their tablet counterparts, the smartphone Office apps for Android are free to download and use with a Microsoft account. However, access to additional features will require an Office 365 subscription.

In a blog post announcing the apps' general availability, Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team at Microsoft, noted that Microsoft used suggestions from testers in over 80 countries to develop the final release versions.

"For example, we made it easier to connect to other popular third-party storage offerings like Google Drive and Box, as well as many usability adjustments to make it easier to navigate commands within the apps," Koenigsbauer wrote. Users can also access files from Dropbox, as well as Microsoft's own OneDrive cloud storage service.

A number of Android hardware manufacturers -- including heavyweights Samsung, Dell, Sony and LG -- have agreed to pre-package Microsoft's Office apps with their new mobile devices. Microsoft has inked over 30 such bundling deals with Android OEMs since this spring.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.