Updated 06:39 AM EDT, Sat, Apr 10, 2021

Microsoft Office Free for iOS & Android Users; Where to Download Apps for iPhone, iPad, Smartphones & Tablets

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Microsoft has now made its Office 365 app available for free download on the iPad, iPhone, and Android tablets, Venture Beat reports.

According to PC Pro, Microsoft unveiled Office for iPad in March. The app could be downloaded for free, but "you could only view existing documents and copy and paste content, unless you had an Office 365 subscription." Starting today, iPad and iPhone users can now create and edit content in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents and store it on cloud storage company Dropbox.

Microsoft labels this latest announcement as "More of Office for everyone," as reported by Venture Beat.

According to Microsoft's Head of Office Marketing, Michael Atalla, the company's latest decision is a matter of making their free web applications available to mobile.

"It's an extension of the strategy that we've got. It's not a total strategic shift, as much of an extension of the existing strategy," Atalla said, as quoted by The Verge. "We're taking that same user experience we provide online to the native apps of iOS and Android. We want to make sure that our customers can be productive across all the devices they have," he added.

Venture Beat added that Microsoft also announced updates that are platform specific:

Apple iOS and iPad

Microsoft is now removing Office Mobile for the iPhone. The latest apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are now available for download on iTunes. Venture Beat noted that the iPhone is getting a bigger release, because "the company [Microsoft] gave the iPad better treatment when it first brought Microsoft Office to Apple's mobile platform."

Microsoft product manager Amanda Lefebvre told Venture Beat that the new Office apps offer "the same beautiful iPad experience, optimized for the iPhone" and that the productivity software is "built on the same codebase as the iPad apps."

"The company worked closely with Apple to ensure the apps could take advantage of the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus," Venture Beat noted. The Office apps have also received phone-optimized user interfaces and their own unique display different from the web version.

"Word has a new reflow view (text and content is wrapped to your screen, so there's no need to squint or pan), Excel has a new fullscreen view (removes all the chrome and just shows you the data), while PowerPoint has a new slideshow view (lets you draw on slides while you're projecting and presenting)," Venture Beat explained.

The iPad versions of the Office apps also went through the same changes as the iPhone.

Android Phones

According to Lefebvre, the new Office integration will be added to Android phones in a couple of weeks. But it should be noted that the Office mobile for Android can now support free editing, just like the iPhone. You can download the Microsoft Office Mobile update for Android on Google Play.

In the report, Lefebvre added that the update "will be going away 'at some point later' and will be replaced by individual Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps." 

The Android tablets are also getting the same treatment as the iPad when it comes to the features and functionality. "We want to make sure we're delivering a similar set of experiences on the same form factors," Lefebvre further explained.

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