When we previously reported on Microsoft bringing Office to Android, we thought it was pretty neat, and figured it would be a definite boon to productivity for the road warriors with powerful tablets and keyboards to match. The initial release was not without its own catches though; it didn’t support Android 5.0 Lollipop, nor did it support tablets with x86 architecture, meaning basically any tablet with an Intel chip inside was not supported (quite a few mid-range tablets are in this category).
Microsoft has quietly announced a semi-private beta to add support for both these user groups, and you can now apply to be a part. There’s a few steps, as with any beta program run through the Google Play Store:
- Apply to join testing group on Google+.
- Become a tester for each of the listed applications:
- Wait for the Play Store to update and download the updated apps:
Microsoft are clearly working hard to increase compatibility of their Office suite with a wider range of Android tablets, and that’s a good thing for all of us because the apps are widely considered to be some of the best (and longest standing) in the productivity space.
Better yet, no Office 365 subscription is required for tablets 10.1″ and smaller to make use of the apps, so if you’ve got (for example) a Nexus 9 and a keyboard case, you now can have basically a mini laptop as well, with access to the same tools.