What does the new Amazon phone have for Office users?
The new Amazon Fire Phone is interesting though it remains to be seen whether features like ‘Dynamic Perspective’ are useful or gimmicky.
For us, the main question is Microsoft Office compatibility both for users of the Fire Phone and anyone else sending documents to a Fire Phone user.
There are reports that the phone comes with the OfficeSuite Viewer app (it can be installed as an app too). That app will let you view any of the main Microsoft Office document formats.
The good news is that Fire Phone uses ‘Fire OS 3.5.0’ which is an Amazon customized version of Google’s Android system.
The bad news is that you can’t select apps from Google Play like most Android devices. Instead you go to Amazon’s Appstore. While many Android apps are on both Google Play and Amazon Appstore, not all are available. Skype, Adobe PDF reader and Evernote apps are available. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are not available so far.
Microsoft’s Office Mobile for Android is NOT visible on the Amazon Appstore. Nor is Google Docs. So you’re limited to other document viewing and editing apps like OfficeSuite Viewer or Kingsoft Office for Android (Free) . It would be good if Amazon and Microsoft can do a deal to put the free Office Mobile apps up on the Appstore.
According to Amazon “Fire OS features a robust Outlook e-mail experience with ActiveSync, calendar, and contacts support.” so it seems you can sync your Exchange Server / Office 365 hosted mail, calendar and contacts with a Fire device.
VPN support is available via apps but Amazon promises they will include VPN in an update to the Fire OS.
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