Microsoft Office 365 arrives on Android phones but tablets like new Nexus 7 left out in the cold

Microsoft has released a scaled down version of Office 365 for Google’s Android OS – with the accompanying bad news that it won’t be available on tablets like the new Nexus 7.

Office Mobile for Android, which has now launched on the Google Play Store, is available to all Office 365 subscribers with anyone looking to sign up reminded that it’s $100 [£66] each year for the privilege.

“We are thrilled that Office Mobile for Android phones is available today. Office 365 subscribers will be able to download the app from the Google Play store and activate it. The release of this app shows that we're committed to keep providing additional value for Office 365 subscribers,” said Guy Gilbert, senior product manager focused on Office mobile apps, at Microsoft.

Office Mobile for Android allows smartphone users to access Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents so long as they are stored in the cloud on SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro. If a user edits a document on their device, it will automatically update in the larger format used on a PC or Mac.

Among the other features that come as standard are the ‘Resume Reading’ feature that takes the user to the exact point they left the document when using a PC or Mac.

As for Android tablet owners, they are stuck with the Office Web Apps service to edit and create documents. It requires the tablet to be constantly online and is exclusively browser-based. Microsoft isn’t thought to be looking at reviewing this status quo, even though Forrester Research analyst J.P Gownder told The Globe and Mail that staying off iPad’s alone is “potentially ceding $1.4 billion in revenue per year."

Office Mobile for Android will only function on devices running Android 4.0 or later and the company plans to offer it in 117 more countries and in over 30 languages. Microsoft’s first experience with Office on smartphones came with an app on the Windows Phone 8 OS before it then became available for Apple iPhone users in June.

In May, Microsoft released figures on the amount of users on Office 365, it had reached 100 million and the hope is that Office Mobile for Android will add many more smartphone users to that amount.