Browsing Posts tagged Android

John here. We recently reported on the announcement that Microsoft has made Office available for the iPad for free. But another recent move has slipped under the radar – Office for Android has also recently been made available for free! It’s long been generally acknowledged that Microsoft’s Office is the default business suite for enterprise, despite the growing number of free programs that purport to be compatible, like Google Docs.

This recent article on MakeUseOf, one of my favorite sites, does a good job of comparing the pros and cons of the new Office for Android against Google Docs and comes up with some pretty strong conclusions. Like:

  • “This is the way that document editing on mobile should be”
  • “Office for Android does a wonderful job of preserving formatting between the mobile and desktop Office suites, something that Google Docs has long done poorly at”

Of course, as they point out, there are some limitations. Differing opinions can also be found from other users in the Comments section. But all told, this recent move does underscore Microsoft’s determination to remain King of the Mountain when it comes to being the business suite of choice for today’s enterprises.

You can read the whole article here.

March 27, 2014 – Microsoft has just announced that Office is available for the iPad – specifically, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. That’s right, you can get Office for the iPad at the App Store (for free)! This will give you the ability to view, read and present your Office files. For full editing functionality you will need to purchase Office as a subscription through Office 365. This will give you the added capability of installing Office on up to 5 of your devices!

According to Microsoft, “What makes these apps unique is that they strike just the right balance between being unmistakably Office and being designed for the iPad. If you use Office on a PC or Mac, the iPad apps feel very familiar, so you are comfortable and confident using these apps right away. The Ribbon layout and experience is familiar, with the most common commands under Home, and Chart commands automatically show up when you select a chart.”

“At the same time, these apps were created from the ground up for iPad. The large touch areas on the Ribbon and in overlay menus make it simple to create, edit and format documents using only touch. Resize and rotate objects like pictures with touch-friendly handles. When you hold and move the objects, text flows smoothly around them. No keyboard and mouse required. You can even use iPad features like voice dictation to draft a Word document or AirPlay® to project a presentation wirelessly on a TV screen.”

As if that weren’t enough, Office Mobile is available now for the iPhone and Android phones as well – for free!

And remember, you always have access to your up-to-date documents in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

So if you’re one of the many that have been waiting for Microsoft Office capability for the iPad, this is happy news indeed. Just head on over to the App Store and join the crowd!

Bob here.  I’ve got a Windows 8 phone.  Yup, I’m special.  For the most part I like it.  One of the things that I like to lord over those other commoners is the fact that it’s got Office.  Yup, Microsoft Office.  So, along with my Office 365 subscription I can access all of my cloud-based documents stored on SharePoint and/or SkyDrive.

Yup, I’d be sitting pretty (ok, sitting anyway), using Word, Excel or PowerPoint to edit documents that only moments ago I was editing on my tablet.  Meanwhile my friends (if you can call them that) using their iPhones and their Android phones?  They’d look at me and I swear I could see their tears in their eyes.

It felt good.

Real good, I mean.  Those guys are pretty annoying, ya know?

But I felt smug in my superiority.

For once.

Until now.

Microsoft now has two new apps.  One for iPhone, and one for the Android.

Office on the Android!

Office on the Android!

Office iPhone

Office for the iPhone!

It’s…<sigh>…Office.  Office Mobile for Android (just released on 31 July), and Office Mobile for iPhone (released on 16 June).

Some quick Questions:

How do I get Office for my mobile device?

  • Go to your respective App Store.

Can I Edit my Office documents using Office now?

  • Yup (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)!

Are these full-functioned Office products?

  • Nope, just like Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 (or Office RT), they have limited functionality.

Will the app integrate with my SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro accounts (without installing the SkyDrive app)?

  • Absolutely

Is Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 better than Office Mobile on Android/iPhone?

  • Office Mobile comes preinstalled;
  • Office Mobile is pre-activated, so it will function without an Office 365 subscription;
  • Office 365 setup combines the setup of email, Office Mobile and Lync, with a single entry of credentials;
  • Office documents received as attachments in email will open directly with the Office Mobile app, not with viewers that may not render the documents correctly;
  • Office Mobile has support for saving documents locally on the phone;
  • Office Mobile includes searching and filtering for documents;
  • Office Mobile supports opening IRM-protected email and documents.

Is Office Mobile on Android/iPhone free?

  • It depends.  You need to have an active Office 365 subscription that includes the full desktop application.  If you’ve got that, then yup, it’s free (although it counts toward your 5 count of devices you can install Office on).

Is Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 free?

  • Yup.  And it doesn’t count towards your 5 devices.  Plus you don’t have to have an Office 365 subscription.

Click here for more info on about Office Mobile on Android.

Click here for more info on about Office Mobile on iPhone.

Click here for more info on about Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8.


In light of our recent Lunchinar on comparing the various tablet platforms for business, we received this review from long time Simplex-IT advocate, Scott Clark (his bio follows the article). We felt it was a worthy addition to the recent dialog and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

I have owned an iPad since Christmas 2010.  I loved my first iPad so much that I purchased the iPad2 on launch day.  (I walked into Walmart at 5pm that day and they had two left.)

I am an IT Manager by day and a gadget lover by night. I have been known to tell my wife that anything that uses electricity, or better yet batteries, is a good gift idea for me. I have owned virtually every flavor of portable electronic device since the 1990s.  A short list of devices I have owned or used includes:

Bag Phone – a “cellular” phone used to come in a bag the size of a lunch box and costs something like $99/mo and a dollar a minute for calls

Apple Newton – cool device that never really took off

2 Way Pager – wow, I could send a pager message back to someone!! (Think text messaging today!)

Palm VII – with the wireless service that didn’t work very well

Compaq iPAQ – wow, a small computer!

Hitachi G1000 – Windows Mobile

(a few other windows mobile phones)

iPod Touch

Sprint EVO 4G – my first Android device, and I really liked it

Logitech Revue – Google TV

Sprint EVO 3D

I get technology.  I can figure it out, I enjoy making it work for me. . .  I am not an Apple fanboy, as some people like to say – but, as you will see below, I do like some things about their products

A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided that it was time for our six year old daughter to get her own tablet.  She was constantly using our iPads and we weren’t always comfortable with that.  It also helped that Tiger Direct had a few on sale for cheap after rebate.  While I may make mention of my daughter’s tablet, this article is primarily about the other tablet I purchased at that time for myself.

I purchased a Mach Speed Trio Pro 7” Internet Tablet from  They list the product as having the following features: (Apple iPad2 specs for comparison)


Mach   Speed Trio Pro 7”

Apple   iPad 2 (16GB Wifi)

Operating System

Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich

Apple iOS 5.1.1

Processor & RAM

1.2GHz / 512 MB RAM

1.0 GHz / 512 MB RAM

Display Size & Resolution

7” – 800 x 480

9.7” – 1024 x 768

Storage Capacity

4 GB

16 GB


1 – front

Front (VGA) & Rear (720p video)

Battery Size & Life

2800mAh / up to 4 hrs

6944 mAh / up to 10 hrs

Charger / Charging Time

Custom /5V – 2A / 3-4 hrs

Apple 30 Pin /10 W / 4.2 hrs

Application Store

GetJar / Amazon *


Pros  (there are a few good things about this unit):

I like the size and the form factor of this 7 inch tablet.  It fits well in my hands, is small enough to put in my pants pocket, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space when charging.

This unit is inexpensive.  I think I paid $90 plus tax from a few weeks ago. MicroSD storage is great.  I am not a fan of Apple not allowing expandable storage.  I feel their $100 price difference for 16GB of storage is far overpriced.  I like the idea that I may load different types of things on different cards. If I wanted to bring a card full of videos, and another card full of music – I have that option.

With the iPad, you either pre-load your content, buy your content, or use one of the wifi content devices with it.  Any which way, it either costs more or is much more of a pain.

This implementation of Ice Cream Sandwich is appealing.  I like the fact that Android devices allow you to configure and use “ Widgets.”  In most cases, these Widgets are to blame for draining batteries – but they make the device more user friendly and customizable.   On other Android devices, I was able to customize a few themes – one for work, one for travel, etc.  These customizations gave me quick access to items I needed most at the time.  (This is clearly more of an Android thing than it is representative of this particular piece of hardware, but it is a win over iOS nonetheless.)

Cons  (I hope you have some time!)

Non-Standard Charger – this device uses its own charger that is not Micro USB or Mini USB or something else you may already have lying around the house.  If you travel with this device, you must remember to bring the charger with you.  I am not sure if a replacement charger is available, but I am almost certain you don’t have as many purchase options as an iPad compatible charger and cable.

No Google Play Store* – this one was a bit of a surprise to me.  The Google Play Store is not pre-installed on this device, nor can it be installed without rooting the device.  In researching this, I found that Google requires manufacturers to meet certain specifications to be allowed to pre-install the Google Play Store.  I can assume this helps protect Google from having to deal with angry consumers who purchased something that doesn’t work on this device.  I also don’t doubt that being certified is a costly process for the manufacturer, thus driving up the cost of the device.

To me, this is a big issue.  As an IT expert, I found ways to download and install many applications that I needed, but some just wouldn’t run or weren’t available.  I might be OK recommending something like this to a complete novice – but your average user will not be happy with this.

Battery Life is Terrible – Let me be clear, it’s not bad – it’s terrible.  I charged this device overnight.  I have it configured to check two email accounts.  It is configured to connect to my home wifi network as well as my work network.  The device is running on standby power, and I did not turn it on to do anything all day.  I went to use it around 3pm and it was completely dead and would not power on.   My iPad would probably be OK for several days or a week if I never turned it on.  (This is assuming no battery hungry apps were left running or the music player wasn’t left running – which I have done from time to time.)  This makes this device almost useless on a flight or trip of any length.  Keep the non-universal charger handy because you are “tethered” with this unit!

I am not a clean freak, but I do get anxious about dirty screens. This device always seems to have smears and smudges on it.  And not just on the screen – but on the back case as well.  It has a shiny black plastic shell and it shows the fingerprints. I pity the criminal that tries to steal one of these, because if they are not successful, the police will easily pull fingerprints off of this device.

No Accessories are available for these types of devices. This is a big win for people like Apple – because the units are all the same size, same connector, etc.  It makes it easy for accessory manufacturers to produce and sell large quantities of product to the owners of said devices.  I had trouble and zero confidence in finding a case for this tablet.  Even though it is a 7 inch tablet – not all 7 inch tablet cases worked.  This is a big loss for the fragmented Android market and a big win for Apple.

Other Thoughts

This device is simple and cheap.  For the right audience, it will be an adequate device for the price. As an IT pro and advanced user, I constantly found myself wanting more out of it.  I am disappointed, but I fully understand why other devices cost more.  I also understand why manufacturers like Google (Nexus 7) and Amazon (Kindle Fire) allegedly lose money on the hardware, so they can get the device out there. There is more money to be made off the app purchases, subscriptions services and content (music, video and books) than the hardware itself.  It would be interesting to understand just how much a new iPad or iPhone user spends on these types of things.  I’ll bet it’s more than we would guess.

While this unit did not compare very well to the Apple iPad 2, I do believe that the Google Nexus 7 may compare very well against the iPad 2. If I feel like dropping $200, maybe you’ll see that review next.  (Just don’t tell my wife about it.)


IT Veteran Scott Clark

Scott Clark: Bio

Mr. Clark has been working in various IT capacities for over 20 years.  His expertise ranges from software development, SharePoint and SQL Server to networking, SAN storage and various networking.  He lives with his wife, Jeri Clark, and daughter Samantha in Streetsboro.  Scott loves gadgets and making them enhance daily life and peace of mind for his family and loved ones.

It’s no secret sales of Tablet computers are setting new records every month. With that increase in sales more and more employees are bringing their tablets to work and asking to gain access to the corporate network in an effort to increase their productivity. As a result there is a corresponding increase in risk as the security of the enterprise is exposed to devices that weren’t necessarily designed to handle that challenge.

Add to that the fact that some of these devices do better than others in successfully performing work-related tasks. Which leads to the question we as IT consultants hear all the time, “Which Tablet is Best for MY Business?”

To answer that question, Simplex-IT’s staff put together this informal comparison of the four major tablet platforms – iPad, Android, Windows RT and Windows 8 – and offers this presentation for your consideration during our May 2013 Lunchinar. So kick back, put your feet up and listen as Sarah, Brandon, Kevin and Steve give their views on which tablets are best positioned to hope you win at business. Enjoy!