In November of last year, Microsoft released a new and improved version of Office Mobile, which came baked into Windows Phone 8 handsets by default. Back in June, the company rolled out a version for the iPhone. Finally, Android users have a mobile version of the popular productivity suite to call their own.

Mobile-office-for-android

Microsoft recently launched Office Mobile for the Android platform. It is currently available in the Google Play store for existing subscribers of Office 365, the firm’s cloud-based suite that introduces a variety of web applications into the productivity fold.

This essentially means that if you’re already signed up, you can enjoy the power of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other programs from just about anywhere at no additional cost.

Embrace the Office Experience

The arrival of everyone’s favorite productivity toolkit is something the Android faithful have been anticipating for quite some time. So what exactly does it have to offer? Here is a run down on some of the key benefits users can expect from Office Mobile on Android:

Office Out the Box

With Office, Microsoft aims to deliver the same great experience that lives in the desktop environment to the mobile arena. Support for graphics, shapes, charts, and other elements produces documents that look spectacular from Word to PowerPoint.

When changes are made, both your layout and formatting remain intact. As a result, documents look and perform as they should when transferred to your desktop later. It’s apparent that Microsoft put emphasis on

creating a seamless experience for mobile users.

Mobile Optimized

While the Android version strives to deliver an experience as rich and robust as the desktop client, it is specially designed with mobile users in mind. Office Mobile serves up a user-friendly interface that makes navigation simple and gives way to fluidity that allows you to be highly productive.

It also boats quite a few features that help you be more efficient. For example, built-in speaker notes come in handy for rehearsing your presentations, while the Slide Navigator gives you the ability to easily and quickly browse through PowerPoint slides.

Convenient Access

Like any app that has been converted from a desktop version, the beauty of Office Mobile is its ability to accommodate the needs of the on-the-go user. In this case, those needs are covered by the cloud. By using SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro, the premium version, you can access your files from virtually anywhere and keep them updated by syncing to any compatible device.

And thanks to the Recent Documents section, you can bypass the tedious searching and instantly choose what you need from your most recently opened documents. No matter where you transfer the experience, you can pick your docs up write where you left off.

Ready to Collaborate

The importance of sharing stems beyond passing hilarious pictures around social networking circles. In order to support communication and collaboration efforts, digital professionals need the ability to share everything from contact data to project files while out and about.

Office for Android supports these vital tasks in effortless fashion. If you’re working on a team project, you can review comments on documents or add your own right from your phone. When it comes time to share, you can send those files via email or to the group folder in SkyDrive.

Requirement and Availability

Stoked about the Office experience on Android? Not so fast. There are some requirements. First and foremost is a subscription plan that includes the desktop version of Office 2013.

This version can be found in a number of premium packages, including Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, and Office 365 University. Microsoft is currently offering the suite via a free 30-day trial, which also activates the mobile version. You will also need version 4.0 or higher of the Android operating system.

For now, Mobile Office for Android is only available in the United States. Support is coming soon for countries such as Aruba, Australia, Jamaica, Poland, and Russian. All in all, the app will eventually be launched in more than 30 languages for well over 100 markets.

Android users who demand the power, efficiency, and now mobility of Office will embrace this launch with warm arms. Up until now, most have been stuck with less than stellar alternatives. Apps like Google Docs make a decent substitute in some cases, but I think many will agree that very few compare to a genuine Office experience.

Author bioFrancis Santos is the Marketing Manager for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs. Follow him on Twitter.