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Microsoft refreshes iPhone and iPad Office apps, readies Office for Android tablet preview

Microsoft has been doing some serious tinkering with its existing Office apps for the iPhone and iPad, and it has opened up registration to test a preview version of Office apps for Android tablet (pictured above).

There are now new Office for iPhone apps, separate ones for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which offer the same functionality as the iPad apps, except of course the interface is tweaked for smaller screens.

The trio of Word, Excel and PowerPoint have also been refreshed for the iPad, so both iPad and iPhone versions now offer more in their free incarnations. Previously, the iPad for Office free apps didn't let the user do any editing or creating of documents (you had to have an Office 365 subscription to be able to do those things).

However, with the new apps, those without an Office subscription can now create and edit files, although they still won't be able to do everything if they're not a paying Office 365 user (advanced editing and collaboration features, as well as Dropbox integration and some other boons will be off limits).

Microsoft was never going to give away the whole pie, though, and many will be happy just to have some solid editing functionality on their iDevice.

Related: Microsoft reveals Office for iPad design process secrets (opens in new tab)

Android users will also get this same level of access to editing capabilities, as you'd expect, with a preview version of Office apps for Android tablet coming soon – you can sign up to request a preview download here (opens in new tab) (you need to have a 7in to 10.1in Android slate running KitKat – not Lollipop, note).

The full set of Android apps is expected to be available on the Play Store come early 2015, but the refreshed iPad and iPhone apps are ready for download right now.

John Case, corporate vice president of Office, Microsoft, commented: "Anytime someone has an idea or an inspiration, we want to empower them to take action. With over a billion Office customers worldwide, and over 40 million downloads on the iPad, it's clear that Office applications are what people want to use to get things done."

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.