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Why the new Office app for Android is perfect for me

The new Office app is more about convenience than creating powerful macro spreadsheets on the go.


Microsoft released a new Office app on Android recently. The app was in preview testing for months, but the first time I spent any real time with it was today.

The app brings Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Sticky Notes into a single application. None of the services are as powerful as their respective apps, but I prefer the new Office app over using Microsoft’s separately. Here’s why this new app is perfect for me.

Less is more, or at least enough


The new Office app isn’t designed to create giant macro spreadsheets on the go. It doesn’t have the full set of features for Word, Excel, or PowerPoint that you’d see on a PC or even the separate mobile Office apps on Android. But I’m okay with that.

I don’t use Office on the go to do heavy-duty work. I use Office frequently to manage an American football team I coach. I track our budget and depth charts in Excel, I create our fundraising documents in Word, and PowerPoint is there if I need to make a presentation for a school or organization I’m building a partnership with. I’m by no means a power user, but I am a frequent user. This new Office doesn’t seem to remove any of the features that I need on my phone, but it has other benefits.

For my everyday workload, the new Office app is perfect.

Some of Microsoft’s popular mobile tools are built right into the app. You can share files with nearby phones, transfer files between your phone and PC, scan images into text, and scan tables into Excel spreadsheets. It also takes advantage of a phone’s touch capabilities, so you can sign documents and their cameras by letting you scan QR codes.

For my everyday workload, the new Office app removes things I never use and adds features I’d usually have to jump between apps to use.

I don’t view Office as separate apps


Using the new Office app highlights the fact that I don’t view Office apps separately, or at least I don’t when I have an alternative. My budget spreadsheets for the team feel like they’re in the same area of my brain as any other Office service I use. In this context, jumping between apps doesn’t really make sense.

I know it doesn’t take that long to switch between apps, especially as Android gestures get better and devices manage multiple apps better, but I still prefer this unified approach. Now, when I come home from practice, I can tackle — get it, tackle — more of my tasks without jumping between apps.

However, while the new Office app provides a simple and unified approach to using Office services on a phone, I’m glad that the dedicated apps are still around. My workflow isn’t your workflow. You might need a feature that’s not available in the unified Office app when you’re on your phone. You might use DeX or a similar feature to project your screen onto a larger display. In that case, you’ll probably want a dedicated app.

Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint & More


Free at Google Play

This app brings Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Sticky Notes into one convenient app on Android.


Nixplay Smart Photo Frame review

The Nixplay Smart Photo Frame, available in a variety of sizes, is a Wi-Fi digital picture frame that displays your favorite images. Similar to traditional picture frames you can hang it on a wall or prop it up on a table. Unlike the one on your grandmother’s wall, it can cycle through more than 2,000 pictures.This is the sort of product you’d gift to parents and grandparents as you can send photos or playlists directly to them. Additionally, it might be a good product for new parents, newlyweds, or college students who might want to keep an eye on things back home. It works just as well to give one of these to someone as it would be to receive on.There are a different sizes and finishes available so it ought to be no problem finding the right fit for your home. And because of its flexibility, you can move it to different rooms or environments without hassle.The 10.1-inch version features a 1280 x 800 HD image that’s bright, easy to see from a variety of angles, and works in both landscape and portrait orientation. As one might expect from a device like this in 2020, there is support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.The built-in motion sensor is able to identify whether there are people in the room which means it automatically turns itself off.Configuration and SetupSetting up the Nixplay Frame includes creating an account, pairing your frame to it, and adding photos. Using the mobile app you can manually add photos, but we found it easier to manage it from the website.Once logged in, you can pair your social media accounts with their respective library or albums. That includes Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, and Verizon Cloud.It’s also in this dashboard where you can set up timers to turn on and off the frame. Additionally, you can shuffle the playlist, opt to display a clock, adjust the transitions between photos, and more.If you’re purchasing one of these for a family member or friend, you’ll be able to set it all up and essentially make it a turn-key gift. All you’ll have to do is set it on the right Wi-Fi network.We appreciate that you can make as many adjustments that you can, especially to keep things updated. There’s no need to insert a microSD card or plug into the frame. Anything done in the cloud is automatically updated.As for the Google Assistant stuff, it’s more or less just being able to turn the frame on and off using your voice. It’s handy, but not necessary. Amazon Alexa appears to have a little deeper integration with options to pull up specific playlists. 1 of 4 The viewing angles on the frame are really good and we found it to provide sharp color and high contrast. Some of the transitions do feel a tad dated, however, they are quick. Fortunately, you can opt for longer delays between changing and decide which transition you want.Where to BuyYou can learn more about the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame at the company’s official website. There, you’ll find it available to purchase for about $180. A limited time discount sees the company taking $27 off, bringing the total to just $153.There are also other sizes to choose from, ranging from 9.7-inches up to 15.6-inches. From the looks of it, there are often chances to save on your frame. Be it centered around a holiday or just an instant discount, it pays to look.

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