Microsoft Office has been available on iPhone, iPad, and Android for years, giving you an easy way to quickly view and edit documents on the go. Office on Android is now rolling out a new way to sort through all your files, following similar updates on Apple devices.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint were originally separate apps on smartphones and tablets, but Microsoft rolled them into a single ‘Office Mobile’ app back in 2019. The combined application has a home page for quick access to recent files, but most of the time, you had to use the search or file manager to actually find what you were looking for.
Microsoft has now updated the home page on the Android app with a new Quick Access bar at the top, with buttons for switching between media (images and videos), PDF documents, Word files, and other categories. There are also options based on your recent activity — you can quickly filter between recently-opened files, shared documents, and files you have opened. Best of all, you can customize which buttons appear in the Quick Access bar.
Filtering results by file type and recent activity has been an option on Google Drive and other services for a while, but it’s great to see the functionality in the Office app too. Microsoft is also rolling out a new PDF button in the bottom bar of the home page, which brings up a menu to scan a PDF or convert a series of pictures/documents to a PDF. Scanning a real-life document into a PDF was already available from the ‘Scan’ button (or the separate Microsoft Lens app on iOS and Android), but the new button is a bit more clear for new people.
Microsoft updated the Office app on iOS earlier this year with similar options. The same PDF button arrived back in March, and some of the same filtering options (but not all) on the home page first rolled out in February.
The new functionality isn’t live yet on my devices, but Microsoft says it will roll out in the latest 16.0.15225.20024 build. If you have an Android device and don’t want to wait, you can join the beta program on Google Play to receive new updates before they are ready for everyone — watch out for bugs, though.