Interested in trying out the mobile version of Office on your phone or tablet? How do you know which edition to pick up and how to get it and use it? Read on.
Microsoft Office is first and foremost a desktop application for PCs. But it’s also a mobile app, or series of apps, accessible on Windows phones and tablets, the iPhone, the iPad, and Android devices. Beyond the various editions for each operating system, you can snag either a free or paid flavor of Office Mobile. But how do you know which flavor to pick, where to find it, and what you can do with it? Let’s see how you can snag the mobile software for different devices and what you’ll find in the program.
Geared toward smartphones and tablets, Office Mobile includes at its core Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Microsoft also offers mobile versions of related apps, such as Outlook, Sway, OneDrive, and Skype. Versions of each app that allow for basic editing are free for devices with screen sizes smaller than 10.1 inches. So, you can edit documents on smartphones, on smaller Windows and Android tablets, and on the 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad mini. The versions geared for larger tablets, such as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, allow you to open and view files in read-only mode, so you can’t edit them.
If you need a version of Office Mobile that provides editing on any sized device, you’ll have to pony up for an Office 365 subscription, which includes both the desktop and mobile versions of Office. At a cost of $69.99 a year, Office 365 Personal lets you install the apps on a single PC or Mac, a single smartphone, and a single tablet. For $99.99 a year, Office 365 Home lets you install the software on five PCs or Macs, five phones, and five tablets.
Keep in mind that Microsoft offers both Office Mobile and the desktop version of Office, namely Office 365 or Office 2016. How do you decide which one to use? Well, price is one factor. Office Mobile by itself is free. Office 365 or Office 2016 will cost you. But Office Mobile is a scaled-down version of Office, so it’s missing many of the bells and whistles you’ll find on its desktop counterpart. Finally, which version you choose depends on the device or devices you use. On a Windows phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you’d go for Office Mobile. On a Windows laptop, hybrid, or desktop PC, you’d likely want Office for the desktop instead, though you can opt for the mobile version if you wish.