Microsoft releases all-in-one Office app

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Microsoft has finally released its unified Office app after months of beta testing. The app allows the use of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel without having to download separate apps for each. Additional features include OneDrive integration and scanning documents using Office Lens.

The Android app is currently not optimized for tablets, but Microsoft said back in November that it was working on it.

The Office app combines Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint is more than a glorified app folder. There’s a home screen, for instance, that lists every file you’ve recently created, edited or accessed across the three apps.

At the bottom of screen, you’ll find a plus icon that reveals three additional options: Note, Lens and Documents. The first creates a post-it style note that is immediately added into your chronological feed.

It’s a useful way to scribble thoughts or reminders during meetings, or add an explanatory note to an Office file that you might need later. Strangely, though, this feature doesn’t use or support Microsoft OneNote.

Lens, meanwhile, is a document and whiteboard-scanning tool that’s been available for years as a standalone app. The final option, Documents, brings up nine shortcuts that help you get started in each of the Office apps. These include Blank Document for Word, Scan Table for Excel and Create from Template for Powerpoint.

The Office app also has an Actions section that offers further shortcuts. These are useful tools that users might not know exist, or have problem finding inside their favorite Office apps.

There’s a PDF section, for instance, with one-tap shortcuts for hand-signing a PDF and converting a Word document into a PDF and the ability to share files to a nearby phone.

Files can be stored locally or through a cloud-based service such as OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox and Box. If you have an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription, the app should also grant you the same premium features that you would expect to find inside the original Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps.

The app is now available to download through the Play Store and App Store.

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