Chrome OS has become a kind of “one OS to rule them all” within the past years. Additionally to the standard native Chrome OS apps and web apps, it’s also gained support for Linux and Android apps. With no bit of labour, it can even run Windows software to some extent. That, however, doesn’t mean that the experience of apps from those other platforms is on par with full-blooded Chrome OS apps, and Microsoft seems to be using that to justify ending official support for the Android versions of its Microsoft Office and Outlook apps on Chrome OS starting September.
The situation with Microsoft’s first-party apps may be a little bit of a multitude, regardless of the platform. The office alone has multiple incarnations, and a few like Outlook and OneNote even have conflicting or incompatible variants on an equivalent Windows OS. However, it simplifies its message on Chrome OS by offering one and just one thanks to use Microsoft Office on Chromebooks.
In a statement sent to About Chromebooks, Microsoft confirms that its Office and Outlook apps on Chrome OS will be “transitioned” to their web counterparts on Office.com and Outlook.com. This may start on September 18, 2021, requiring users to check in to their Microsoft accounts to access those web apps. the corporate says that it’s doing so to supply the foremost optimized experience on Chromebooks.
Some users, however, might afflict that premise. the online versions of Microsoft’s Office and Outlook apps aren’t always according to the features available on native apps for Android, iOS, and Windows. There’s also the question of whether these web apps, whether in-browser or PWA, will be ready to function offline like their Android counterparts.
At the instant, it’s unclear what this transition will mean for those using Office Android apps on Chromebooks, whether the apps will completely pack up or whether or not they will be unavailable for download. But, of course, the Android apps will remain on Google Play Store, and APKs will presumably be still available for users to put in unofficially.