When discussing productivity and office software suites, Microsoft Office is the unquestionable leader of the pack on the Windows operating system. There are of course many great free alternatives, but Microsoft's office package is by far the most feature-filled. A lighter, but still great version is available for Android devices, which makes sure you get to see the same document contents and also create, edit and share files. Let's see how you can get it for your Android device!
How To Install Microsoft Office For Android Versions Prior To 4.4
Currently, Microsoft Office exists in two versions for the Android OS: one is designed for devices running Android 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 or 4.3 and another one for newer operating system versions. If you have an even older Android, consider upgrading it!
The one designed for Android 4.0-4.3 is called Microsoft Office Mobile: you can either search for it in Google Play or you can simply use this link to get to it. Upon opening this link, first tap Install.
You can check out what permissions the application needs. Tap Accept to download and install the app. Microsoft Office Mobile takes 27 megabytes of space, so you might want to use a WiFi connection for download if you have a small data subscription.
When the installation finishes, tap Open to start Office.
You will also find Office amongst your other apps. To view them, tap the All apps icon on the main screen, that usually looks like a grid of dots.
Office Mobile will have an icon here: tap it to start the application.
That's it! You're done with the installation, and you can start using Microsoft Office Mobile with your Microsoft account!
How To Install Microsoft Office For Android 4.4 Or Later
If you are running Android 4.4 or later, then Microsoft has another, better version of Office for you. In this case, the three mobile apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) have to be installed separately, so you can install only the one(s) you need, thus saving storage space and bandwidth.
Remember, these three apps are designed to replace Microsoft Office Mobile. If you have an older version of Android, consider upgrading.
You can get all three apps from the Play Store if you tap these download links Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also search for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint in Google Play to find them.
The installation procedure is about the same as in the case of the Microsoft Office Mobile app: open the Play Store link and tap Install.
As these apps are even larger than the Office Mobile application, you will get a warning screen about their large size, suggesting you to use only WiFi for download. We strongly suggest listening to this advice: leave the Download using Wi-Fi only box checked, then tap Proceed to download the application.
And finally tap Open to launch the downloaded program.
Follow the same process for all three, if needed. When they are installed, you will see their icons amongst your other Android apps.
NOTE: These Android apps provide limited Office features, a qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to unlock the full Office experience. Also, the apps are designed to run on devices with at most 10.1" screens: to create or edit on tablets with larger screens, you will also need to purchase Office 365.
Being the largest and most complete office suite on Windows, it is really great that Microsoft Office is also available on Android. It is also noteworthy that Microsoft has thought of people running older versions of Android, so they can also access some Office features.
As you can see, installing Microsoft Office on Android is a very easy task. In an upcoming series of articles we will demonstrate the apps' features and how to use them. Stay tuned for more, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!