Microsoft Office for Android will soon let you listen to documents even if your screen is locked

Office App Android Galaxy S
Office App Android Galaxy S (Image credit: Dan Thorp-Lancaster/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Office app on Android will soon support playing documents out loud while your device is locked.
  • At the moment, the Read Aloud feature pauses playback when you lock your device.
  • The feature could arrive as soon as April 2022, but that date could change without notice.

Microsoft Office on Android will soon support playing documents out loud when the screen is locked. The new feature will make it easier to catch up on documents or to review content by listening to it. April 2022 is the tentative release date for the feature on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, but that's subject to change. As is the case with any feature on the roadmap, the date is a loose goal, not a firm release date.

"Listen to your documents on mobile when screen is locked," reads the Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab).

At the moment, the mobile versions of Office pause audio playback when you lock this screen. This can be a hassle if you're trying to listen to a document and your screen locks automatically after you don't touch it for a while. The current setup is also an issue if you want to listen to content while driving in a car or keeping your phone in your pocket.

If you don't have an Office subscription, or it's time to renew yours, make sure to check out our guide comparing Office 2021 vs. Microsoft 365. If you value using Office across your mobile devices, Microsoft 365 is likely a better choice.

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Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab)

Microsoft 365 gives you access to all the Office apps and extra features, such as 1TB of OneDrive, Outlook premium, and cloud-based features. You can also install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps on up to six devices.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).