Your top questions about Office for Android phone answered

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team.

On June 24, we launched Office for Android phone, and the response has been amazing. In the last three weeks, there have been millions of downloads across Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and local app stores in China. We are also excited to see customers rate the apps so favorably, now at 4+ ratings on the Google Play store. Thanks to you all for using the Office apps.

We very much appreciate your feedback (the positive and the critical!) and have been reading all of your comments posted to the launch blog, within the App Stores, and submitted directly via the product. While we’ve been answering these questions across the various forums, we thought it would be helpful to consolidate, share and answer the top questions here on the Office Blog.

1. Will Office for Android apps be supported on any OS version below KitKat (4.4)?

The new Office for Android apps supports only KitKat (4.4) or higher. For customers running older Android OS versions, we are continuing to provide the original “Office Mobile for Android” app in the Google Play store.

2. When will the apps support the new Android M OS?

The Android M OS is still in preview, and we plan to support it within 2–3 weeks of general availability.

3. I have the old Office Mobile app on my Android phone. Can I keep using it?

Of course! Existing users of the previous Office Mobile app can keep using it on their Android phones. However, we recommend that existing users with more modern Android phones running 4.4 OS (KitKat) or higher download and use the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps.

4. What is the market and language availability for the apps?

Currently the Office for Android apps are available in the following languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (U.S.), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Here is the list of countries where the Office for Android apps are currently available.

5. When will the apps be available in Arabic, Hebrew and other right-to-left languages?

They are coming soon! We have heard your feedback and will be delivering the Office for Android apps in local languages and regions with requirements for right-to-left (RTL) languages and Complex Script (CS) this fall. We plan to provide bi-directional, switchable text support in canvas, vertical text support, justification support, and translation for Arabic, Hebrew and Thai in the app experience. We’ll also localize all the text in the UI and “mirror” the UI, that is, move the command from left-to-right to right-to-left.

The apps will be available in the following languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Indic languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam), Persian, Vietnamese and Thai; and in these markets: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, Vietnam and Yemen.

6. Do I need an Office 365 subscription to use the Office for Android phone apps?

The answer is “it depends.”

For consumers (or what we refer to as “non-commercial use”), we provide core viewing, creation and editing features of Office for Android phone at no charge. There are a few advanced features that are only available for Office 365 subscribers, and you can find the list here.

For businesses and commercial users, viewing and printing are free, but you will need a qualifying Office 365 subscription for rights to create and edit documents. A list of qualifying Office 365 subscriptions can be found here.

A few months ago, I posted a blog on our business model and licensing approach for mobile apps. You can read that here for more details.

7. Can I use this app without signing in?

You can view documents without signing in. However, we recommend signing in with a Microsoft Account (MSA) or qualified Office 365 subscription ID to unlock core editing functionality.

Based on user feedback, we have simplified the sign-up process, so you can now create an MSA and sign in to the apps in three easy steps. BTW… signing in to any of the apps (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) automatically signs you in to all three apps.

8. How do I request my favorite feature?

We definitely want your feedback and it absolutely impacts our backlog! You can always submit your feature request on our brand new suggestion box sites: word.uservoice.com, excel.uservoice.com, powerpoint.uservoice.com, outlook.uservoice.com and onenote.uservoice.com.

9. I have a technical issue. Where do I go?

Get support at support.office.com/home/contact. Alternatively, you can inform us about any issue directly from the product using the feedback tool in the top right corner (the smiley face).

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to share comments—we appreciate it. Please keep sending us your questions and feedback and together we’ll keep making the Office apps for Android better.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer