Microsoft drops Dropbox into Office Mobile for Android

Fulfills promise from two weeks ago when the two firms touted a new partnership

office mobile excel
Mark Hachman

Microsoft today updated the Office app for Android smartphones, adding support for Dropbox and further integration with the company's own OneDrive cloud storage service.

The update to Office Mobile -- the name of the all-in-one app that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- was promised two weeks ago when Microsoft announced a partnership with Dropbox.

Shortly after Microsoft and Dropbox trumpeted the deal, the former updated its iOS apps -- Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone and iPad -- to let users connect to their Dropbox accounts from within the apps.

Office Mobile for Android smartphones with dropbox Microsoft

Office Mobile for Android smartphones now connects to Dropbox, part of the deal Microsoft struck with its rival two weeks ago. 

Android's Office Mobile now does the same.

"With today's update, you'll get the same integration in Office Mobile for Android phone, including the ability to ... add Dropbox as an online storage location, browse your files on Dropbox, [and] use Office Mobile app for Android Phones to edit your Dropbox files and automatically save them back to Dropbox," Microsoft said in a short blog post today.

Unlike Office for iOS, which Microsoft has split into separate refreshed apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Android's Office Mobile retains an older UI and the three-app grouping that was formerly the sole option for iPhone owners.

The new Android app also now lets users share a link to a OneDrive-stored document, spreadsheet or presentation via email. OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud-based storage and sync service, and competes with Dropbox.

Although Office Mobile on Android can be used free of charge by consumers, it requires a linked Office 365 business-grade subscription for commercial -- read work -- purposes. The same goes for the iPhone and iPad apps.

Still missing from Microsoft's mobile Office portfolio is a version suitable for Android tablets. Microsoft has been taking requests for a beta program since Nov. 6, and has been sending invitations to some potential participants. All Microsoft has said about a launch date is "early 2015."

As with iOS -- both iPhone and iPad -- the Android tablet version of Office will feature separate apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

The updated Office Mobile for Android can be downloaded from Google Play.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon