Debunking Office 365 and SharePoint Support for Android

Joel Oleson April 23, 2014 1
Debunking Office 365 and SharePoint Support for Android

Microsoft has been doing some fascinating positioning around devices and support and I’m happy with the results and I think customers have to be as well.  2014 has already been an exciting year for device support including the iPad Office and the Android Office announcements.  As well the Android Office free for home users was a great announcement as well.  While It’s strange to meet a giddy Microsoft employee who’s sole job it is to make Office 365 & SharePoint work with Android, and people focused on launching SDK’s for building apps for Android, there have been some fascinating moves that are worthy to note.  Some of these projects have been released by a new company that’s an odd extension of Microsoft that allows them to do some of these fascinating projects at an arms length.  Read more on MSOpenTech.com.

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More detail and a cool new site that shows how all this is working is at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/  It is a really cool looking site.  I’m looking for tabs for Android Tablets, Chromebook, and Surface.

I had Chromebook and Android Tablets on this chart, but they end up with only one check box along the row of Office online.  The other apps haven’t made their way there yet.  Microsoft adds Offlice Online to the Chrome Webstore.  Although OneDrive for consumers is also available for both Chromebook and Android Tablets the business flavor is not.  The SharePoint category on Kindles, and Chomebook is pretty slim pickins, only one or two third parties.  It is worth noting that the Office Online (formerly Office Web Apps) functionality has gotten very rich for tablets including Chromebook.

Many of us don’t even think about Google when we are using YouTube, Android, Chrome, and so on.  There’s been so many announcements in the past year, that a lot have missed the significance of this amazing journey.  It wasn’t too long ago that an iphone or an android in a crowd of Softies would cause questions… No longer. With all this support it really is a BYOD experience in the SharePoint and Office365 world.

Here are a number of ways that Microsoft has been working to ensure a good experience for the Android phone & tablets, Chrome browser, Chromebook devices, and more…

  1. Github project:  Office 365 SDK for Android Preview by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. This SDK provides APIs granting permission to call upon SharePoint lists and files, along with Exchange calendars, contacts, and mail.
  2. Product Documentation on Android device support for SharePoint with step by step instructions
  3. Office Online (Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online) and OneDrive available for Chromebook in the app store (through live.com).  There are some rumors on more for Chromebook coming, but I’ll hold out on the speculations.  Office Web Apps has recently been rebranded Office Online which may explain some of what you’re seeing.
  4. Chrome supported as a tier 1 browser in SharePoint 2013 with official documentation on TechNet – I put together my own report card and browser support matrix for comparing the various SharePoint versions and Chrome gets an A-.  Not bad! It’s even better than the 64bit version of IE 11.
  5. Office 365 Subscribers get Office Mobile for Android Phones & Microsoft Office on Google Play store for Android currently has 4 stars.  Nearly 83,000 reviews and 44,000 +1s… incredibly popular. Microsoft Office Mobile is the official Office companion optimized for your Android phone. You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.  This does require an Office 365 subscription for business use, but is now free for home users. Should work with your on premises SharePoint as well as SharePoint Online if authentication is setup properly.
  6. OneNote and OneDrive for Android – Bunch of new features released just a few days ago.
  7. Office 365 Android Admin App – you can administer your Office 365 tenant with your Android Phone.
  8. Outlook.com Android App – updated server side search capabilities from Android
  9. Other Office 365 Apps now available for Android Yammer app for Android App – Conversations and push notifications to your Android device. Lync 2013 for Android and Skype for Android call friends and colleagues.
  10. 15 minute webinar from Microsoft on using Office on Android – this webinar hosted on Google’s YouTube
  11. Office Web Apps Editing support promised – Today you get view access with your Android tablet when using Office Web Apps, but Editing support is promised.  Many of the other things in this article have come to pass and more work is being done.

Office Mobile for Android phones

Office Mobile on Android Courtesy Microsoft

 


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