New Chromebooks just got a next-level killer feature

Chris Burns - Nov 27, 2017
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New Chromebooks just got a next-level killer feature

This week Chromebooks are once again able to use the entire Microsoft Office app suite VIA Android apps. This is the first time in a while since these apps have been available in a while. For more people, the first time they’ve been able to use these apps on their Chromebooks at all, ever. These versions of the Microsoft Office apps require a subscription to Office 365, and those without said subscription will only be able to use these apps to view files. Either way, Windows 10 PC manufacturers aren’t going to be too thrilled.

This may well be a turning point for Chromebooks on a global scale. Before now, users have been relegated to Google Docs and other Google apps – as well as a handful of Android apps and/or Chrome apps for all their document needs. Now the most commonly used document app suite of all time makes for a Chrome OS environment to be reckoned with.

There seems to be one strange exception to the rule with the Office 365 subscription fee mentioned above. If your Chromebook has a display that’s 10.1-inches or smaller, you can use these Office apps in all their document-editing glory for free. Anything larger than 10.1-inches and the subscription fee kicks in.

That exception applies to Android devices as well. Editing without a subscription to Office 365 on devices with a 10.1-inch display or smaller is limited, however. The editing abilities without subscription are part of the limited list called “Core Editing.” The following list of items from this Office link show features included only WITH a subscription to Office 365.

• Track and review changes
• Change page orientation
• Insert page and section breaks
• Highlight table cells with custom color shading
• Enable columns in page layout
• Customize headers and footers for different pages
• Apply more colors for formatting
• Add or remove chart elements
• Use IRM-protected file support

The whole Microsoft Office collection of Android apps – for Android devices and Chrome OS devices – can be found over at Google Play. This is for most Google Chromebooks released in the past couple of years – beyond that and we’re getting into “Android apps wont ever work here” territory.


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