Top 5 Microsoft Apps for Android under Productivity Category

Microsoft started developing apps from Windows 8.1 to 10. But the Store apps did not pick up the trend as estimated. Microsoft changed it’s business strategy from developing apps for it’s Windows 10 to Android.


The same productivity applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Note etc are now available  on Android also.

This paradigm shift from being a brand to a service provider shows the increasing usage of mobile phones.

The number of smartphone users in US alone is estimated to reach 130 million by 2021. After 10 years of launch, Android has 2.5 billion active devices. This is in contrast to the number of computers in the world which are around 2 billion.

Productivity apps like Microsoft Office are still in wide usage on different platforms like Windows, Mac and Android.

To open .docx, .xlsx, .pptx files on Android, you had to install third-party apps earlier.

But Microsoft had made it easy now. It created apps for Android which can be used to open Office files.

This review will discuss about 5 microsoft productivity apps for Android.

1. Microsoft Outlook

It is around 72MB in size. Once you install and open it, automatically it finds any email accounts on your Android phone.

You can connect your Google account or add another account. If you would like to add your Gmail account, it needs access to the accounts and contacts on your device.

For example, my @outlook.com account was automatically detected.

I just had to tap add account. Otherwise, you can enter your corporate email or personal email address. Then you can check your office emails in this productivity app.

Features

Focused Inbox is a feature of this app where you can see your most important actionable emails here. Calendar, Search are the other features.

Inbox screen will show “Focused” and “Other” tabs. “Other” option will show all the emails till date.

Filters can be used to see all messages, unread, flagged and attachments. Using search, you can find all your messages, contacts and files in just one spot. At the bottom, you can see the Inbox, Search and Calendar icons.

Click the hamburger (three lines) icon at the top left hand side for further options.

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You can see Inbox, Sent, Deleted Items, Drafts, Archive, Spam, Conversation History, Imp, RSS Feeds folders.

The settings will show Notifications, Signature, Swipe Options, Focused Inbox, Organise emails by thread under Mail. You can see Notifications, Default, Week start options under Calendar.

You can connect your calendar apps, interesting calendars, add-ins etc. Accessibility feature like contrast can also be set here.

Light and Dark theme can also be set. Otherwise, you can choose the option “Set by Battery Saver” to automatically set the theme. The Swipe left and right options can be customized to quickly take action on emails in your inbox.

2. Microsoft Word

You can write and edit docs on the go using this productivity app. This is 65MB in size. Once you install this app, you need to give permission to access photos, media and files on your device.

You can upgrade to Premium Word for free for the first month. You will get 1TB of free OneDrive storage, use Office on your PC, call any mobile number via Skype.

Features

By default, all the word files in OneDrive are listed here. Settings will show the connected OneDrive. The following notification settings can also be set here.

1. Notify me when someone – Shares with me
2. Notify me when someone in a document – Starts editing. You will only receive notifications for documents which you have recently edited.

Trust Center setting can also be enabled from here. You can use Microsoft Online Service to open and print some files.

The option to let Office connect to online services from Microsoft to provide functionality that’s relevant to your usage and preferences.

The option to automatically save files, reset office can be done from settings. The latest version of the app is 1.0.1 (16.0.12026.20174).

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3. Microsoft PowerPoint

You can create slideshows and presentations using this app. This is 59MB in size. It has 1B+ downloads according to PlayStore statistics. This app is great on mobile and desktop.

Some features in the desktop are missing in the mobile version. These are like duplicating slides, inserting pictures from online sources.

It has its disadvantages.

The PowerPoint files can’t be open from “My Files” in Google Drive or it will open in “Read-only” mode. Opening these files in Chromebook will give these kind of errors.

Saving a local copy of .pptx files is not easy.  If you try to open it via the “Open” option in the application itself, the app may freeze.

It does not work as intended when you minimize the tab to get some information from another page. You have to make it full screen to see the whole of the app.

All the fonts in the desktop version are not available in the mobile version.

Annotations do not work properly.

You can’t move between the pen/eraser/highlighter in presentation mode. Inserting text and pictures is little cumbersome.

The workbook/document/presentation view works on Tablet mode, but content is not much visible in mobile version.

4. Microsoft Excel

This has 2M reviews and 62MB in size. You can create and edit spreadsheets using this app.

Just like Word app, you can see the list of .xlsx files in this app homescreen.

You can create a blank workbook and store it in local storage or on your personal OneDrive.

Lot of other templates are also available like Track my Tasks, Manage My Money, Personal Budget, Family Budget etc.

You can open excel files from OneDrive, Google Drive, local storage etc. Connect to a cloud storage like Dropbox, Box, Datto Workplace, Egnyte, MyWorkDrive, NetDocuments, Syncplicity, add SharePoint etc.

This app has it’s own dependencies. In Office 365, it becomes difficult to open files in write-only mode.

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Cons

You need to download the copy to open it for editing. Formatting cells is difficult. Selecting dates and changing the selection is hard.

Data from picture function also does not detect squat properly. If you have multiple accounts, you need to sign out of each account and re-login again.

5. Microsoft OneDrive

This app was last updated on 22nd Oct 2019. It is a cloud storage service app provided by Microsoft. It acts as a backup plan for your important files and folders.

The Profile or Me option will show the files available offline, Recycle bin, Notifications, Settings, Help and Suggestions, Sign Out features.

In the OneDrive app, you can take a photo, scan, create folder, upload, create a word document, powerpoint presentation, excel spreadsheet.

This app can be used to store all your photos and documents. You get 5GB of free space with each OneDrive account.

It has a document scanner and camera upload feature also. You can also create Microsoft documents like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and store them in this cloud drive.

Cons

This app also has its own disadvantages. A file or folder is either stuck uploading or app syncs its files too often.

This is not good for battery life. This app removes the need for an USB app. You can easily pull out your documents and presentations with ease. Another pro is that you can use this app with variety of mobile devices.

Sometimes you get an error while logging in. If you have no Interent connection, you will not be able to login and sync your files.

Features

The 5GB storage plan will give you facility for 1600 photos (9MB jpegs) or 6600 documents (0.7MB office files).

You can search OneDrive through your files and folders.

The following tabs are shown at the bottom – Files, Recent, Shared, Photos, Me.

You can enable camera upload to automatically back up your photos and videos. One can also share photos with different apps like Gmail, WhatsApp, Messenger etc.

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