Microsoft recently made PowerPoint (and Word and Excel) available as an Android phone app. It’s my understanding that the same app works on Android tablets as well. Your experience with the menus and options will adapt with the size of your screen. You can go to the Google Play Store to download the app. There’s a little slide show on the top that you can watch.
PowerPoint on an Android phone–is that crazy or great?
The app is free. When you install it, you’ll be asked to log in. You don’t HAVE to log in, but if you do, it will remember things like recent presentations. You can also connect to “Places,” which are online storage locations such as OneDrive.
Everything is small!
Obviously, everything is small and to make it work, menus are collapsed until you expand them. At the upper left, you’ll see 3 lines (the menu icon) which opens the File menu as you see here. You can use your phone’s back button to escape out of this.
When you choose New from the File menu, you’ll have a fairly large selection of themes. I chose one called Berlin. You see your first slide with the instruction to double-tap to add the slide title. That’s how you get into Edit Text mode. Your phone’s on-screen keyboard appears and you can type or even swipe, which works very well.
When you’re done typing, you can again use the Back button to escape. If you’re using the vertical view, you’ll see your current slide in the middle, the File menu and other icons on the top, and some of your slides on the bottom. If there are too many too see, you can swipe left or right to display the rest. To move from slide to slide, swipe along the thumbnail slides at the bottom and then tap a slide.
If you hold your phone horizontally, you’ll see a view that looks pretty close to what you see on your computer, with the thumbnails on the left and the current slide on the right.
Using the icons
Above the slide you have the following icons
- Edit Text: Opens text-editing options at the bottom. Tap the icon again to close them
- Notes: Opens and closes the Notes pane
- Slide Show view: Brings you into Slide Show view. This view is always horizontal. Swipe to move from slide to slide.
- Save: Saves your work. (I wonder when someone will create a new Save icon, given that “floppy” disks don’t exist any more.)
- Share: Lets you email the presentation as an attachment or share it with other services. I had Gmail, webhost email, Skype, Evernote, Android Beam (“to allow data to be transferred via near field communication (NFC)), Bluetooth, Cloud (I think it’s from Verizon), Drive, OneDrive, Quick Connect (I have no clue-it sends to nearby devices), Zoom (my webinar service) and Wi-Fi Direct. I have the Outlook Web App on my phone (which I love) and I was disappointed that it wasn’t one of the options.
- Undo: Undoes your last action.
When you use the Edit Text icon, you also get a Home menu. Click it to expand it and you get some of the standard ribbon tabs: Insert, Design, Transitions, Slide Show, Review and View. You have lots of transitions but the rest of the “tabs” are much more limited than the desktop version.
When you select an object, such as a shape or image, a menu appears with options such as Cut, Copy, Paste, Duplicate, Delete, and Copy Formatting.
You can turn your phone and see the screen vertically or horizontally. Sometimes one works better, sometimes the other, depending on what you’re doing.
What’s missing–can you find them?
Here are some important features that I wasn’t able to find:
- Slide Master view
- Transparency settings
- Save as Picture
However, when I used the Share icon to email the presentation to myself and opened it on my computer, I was able to add SmartArt and animation. I saved in on OneDrive (after setting that up as a Place). When I re-opened the presentation on my Android phone, the SmartArt and animation were there. I thought I would tap to replicate clicking on a computer, but I had to swipe. Right to left played the animation; left to right ran the animation backwards (like using the left arrow key).
What do you think?
All in all, I think that PowerPoint for Android is quite good, although I’d love to see more features in it. What do you think? Share your opinion! Will you use PowerPoint on an Android phone at all? Will you use it for small or last-minute edits? To create drafts and share with your team? Leave a comment below and please share this post using the Share buttons!