If you use Office 365 regularly on your desktop or laptop, you may wonder if you can use your Microsoft Office apps on your smartphone (or tablet) without having to take your laptop. Wonder no more: Microsoft offers several of its Office 365 apps for iOS (the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad) as well as Android smartphones and tablets.
You can easily find and download individual Office mobile apps that are available on both iOS and Android:
iOS Download from the Apple App Store
Here’s how to download the apps from the Apple App Store:
- Tap the App Store icon on your home screen.
- Tap the Search icon in the lower-right corner of the App Store screen.
- Tap the Search box (it’s at the top of the screen and contains the words App Store).
- Type Microsoft Office.
- Tap Microsoft Office 365 at the top of the results list.
- Swipe up and down in the screen to view the Office apps and related apps from Microsoft such as Teams for connecting with your team members. When you find the app that you want to download and install, tap the app name in the list.
Android Download from the Google Play Store
Follow these instructions to download individual Office apps from the Google Play Store:
- Tap the Google Play Store icon on your Home screen.
- Tap the Google Play box at the top of the Play Store screen.
- Type Microsoft Office.
- Tap Microsoft Office 365 for Android in the results list.
- Swipe up and down in the screen to view the list of Office apps and related apps from Microsoft such as OneDrive. When you find the app you want, tap the app name to download and install it.
Note that you’ll see Microsoft Office Mobile listed at the top of the results list, but it’s for Android versions prior to 4.4 (KitKat).
What Can Office 365 Do?
The Office mobile apps can do a lot of things that their desktop and laptop cousins can do. For example, you can start typing in a Word app document or tap a cell in the Excel app, tap the formula box, and then start typing your text or formula. What’s more, the iOS and Android apps have most of the same features. Here’s a short list of what you can do in Office apps on iOS and Android:
- Word: You can add and apply styles, insert photos, and track changes.
- Excel: You can change fonts and margins within a spreadsheet, create charts, and insert photos.
- PowerPoint: You can add and rearrange slides, add tables and shapes, and print slides.
- Outlook: You can view and reply to messages, access your folders, and insert signatures.
What are the Limitations?
A file you open in an Office mobile app will look the same as it does on your desktop or laptop in most cases. If your file contains features that aren’t supported in the mobile app, such as a pivot table in your Excel spreadsheet, you won’t see those features on your smartphone or tablet.
If you’re not sure about installing one or more Office apps on your smartphone or tablet, here’s another short list of limitations in the mobile apps, and any differences between what each app can do on a tablet that the smartphone app can’t do:
- Word: You can’t customize styles, check grammar, or run macros.
- Excel: You can’t select non-contiguous cells in your spreadsheet, view PivotTables, or view PivotCharts.
- PowerPoint: You can’t use audio or video trimming, change background images, or embed YouTube videos.
- Outlook: You can’t empty your spam folder, set importance levels in a message, or create an out-of-office message.
This list of things you can and can’t do in Office mobile apps isn’t exhaustive. Some features may exist on the tablet app and not on the smartphone app, and there may be What’s more, some features are curtailed or missing entirely in the mobile versions of every Office app.
Microsoft has a complete comparison of features between different versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook (in table format, too) on their support website at https://support.office.com. When you get to the site, type compare word ios in the Search box and then click or tap on the first entry in the results list. You can also search for PowerPoint and Outlook version comparisons by replacing word in the Search box with powerpoint or outlook, respectively.