This week Microsoft officially confirmed that it is working on Office Android app support for Chromebooks. The confirmation came through in a ‘New in November’ blog posting from the company which details a number of new Office-related features and updates. Buried within the many announcements though, was the acknowledgement that the support is being readied. This follows on from the reports that have come through in the past few days noting how a number of different Chromebook models were suddenly compatible with the Office suite of Android apps on the Google Play Store. At the time there had been little in the way of any official announcement on this, with the support just suddenly noted as live for an increasing number of devices.
Interestingly, the confirmation was not specifically detailed and did not provide any real substance on when solid Chromebook support will become available. Instead, the short statement confirmed that Microsoft had released a preview version of the Office Mobile apps for Chromebooks earlier in the week. While also pointing out that these apps are essentially the previously available Android apps. Which in spite of having now been made available to work with Chromebooks, they have yet to be “fully optimized for the Chromebook form.” With the suggestion being those who do decide to download the apps on a Chromebook should expect some bugs, or incompatibility issues to be present.
On that note, the short statement does also point out how Microsoft is looking to get feedback from users who do decide to try the apps out. For those interested however, it does also have to be pointed out how accessing the apps is not quite as simple as downloading them from the Google Play Store. As the posting does reiterate a user must have an active Office 365 subscription to be able to make use of the apps’ full potential in the first place. At least on devices that are greater in size than 10-inches - which in the Chromebook world is pretty much all Chromebooks. That is, in addition to also being a Chromebook that has gained support for Android apps in general.