What you need to know

Microsoft is ending Chromebook support for Office Android apps and is requiring a switch to the web versions for the best experience possible.

Microsoft Will end support for the Office Android app for Chromebooks soon. Google engineered the concept of the Chromebook to be powerful enough for most users without needing high-end specs and expensive equipment. Chromebook laptops and other Chrome OS devices are popular in schools because of this low-cost approach, but home and business use have also increased, and more powerful models are available with features that rival Windows laptops.

In the early days of the Chromebook, the operating system consisted of little more than a web browser, probably the reason for the name of the budget-conscious laptop. This started to change over time and Chrome OS kept evolving, first we got web apps before finally they got the ability to run Android apps. By 2018, Linux apps were added as a beta option for newer Chromebooks, and that feature recently became part of this year’s general release.

Related: How To Switch From A MacBook To A Chromebook (And Why You Should)

Microsoft Office is a critical suite of apps for many, available on a Chromebook thanks to the operating system’s Android compatibility feature, but that feature seems to be going away in the near future. Corresponding About Chromebooks, some users have received a warning that the Android app is no longer supported with a recommendation to use the web app instead, and Microsoft has confirmed this when users switch to web experiences on September 18, 2021 on OneDrive for storage and although a sizable 5 gigabytes are included for free, it requires a Microsoft account and subscription if more is needed. For reference, Chromebooks users can still use the apps, they just shouldn’t expect any future updates.

The best way to run Office on a Chromebook

The Microsoft Office Android app doesn’t have the same robust features as the desktop apps available on Windows and Mac computers, but it’s a good solution for most popular uses. Microsoft Office for the web is actually quite similar, and in some ways more convenient, as it is designed specifically for a laptop or desktop screen, while the Android version is meant for use on a smartphone or tablet. A special feature of the native apps, which were developed for iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows computers, is the ability to save documents locally.

Another nice thing about a native app is that it can be used offline. The Office web app from Microsoft can technically be installed as a progressive web app, which enables offline use, but severely restricts the available documents depending on the number and size of the user. Most Chromebook owners must be connected to the internet when using Microsoft Office and should save files to OneDrive for convenience. Although documents can be downloaded, changes must be uploaded again and if this step is forgotten, work can be lost.

It makes most sense in the future to simply commit to using office.com to create and edit Office documents with a Chromebook. Free use is available until the OneDrive storage reaches the 5 gigabyte limit, after which a subscription is required. However, Microsoft has very affordable prices. While Microsoft’s support for Android apps on a Chromebook ends in September, Office for the web will be a great alternative for the majority of users.

Next: Macbook Pro Vs Chromebook: Which One Is Best For College?

Source: About Chromebooks

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