The iPad is without a shade of doubt the most popular tablet out there, but after covering the best iOS office apps
, we felt Android also deserved attention as there are tons of options on Google’s platform and they are often cheaper. So the question lingers - can those who can’t afford an iPad (or don’t want to spend the money on one) have a decent office experience? Are Android tablets capable of being productivity machines that can get work done?
Hardware-wise there should be no doubt about that as quad-core chips, more RAM and all the other guts arrived first on Android and it’s likely that it will stay this way in the future. What we’re looking here for though is software. Apple offers its iWork suite on both the iPhone and the iPad, and it’s a very, very solid argument in favor of office productivity on iOS.
Android, though, has many of the alternative applications that we already recommended on iOS. It also has Google Docs, which just recently got updated to allow online collaboration, and we expect it to continue growing really fast. It’s also absolutely free - and little can beat that. Check out our picks for Android office suites below and let us know your opinion about the best app and whether we should have included some other applications.
Best Android Office Apps
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Best Android Office Apps
Google Docs is the office suite in the cloud that can change the face of the industry for good. It's free on Android and it got Microsoft's attention so that Redmond recently bashed it vigorously in its typically awkward ads. That alone suggests that Google Docs is a real threat to Microsoft Office and it's getting adopted by many institutions. It's more of a promise of the future than the future though. The latest version includes online collaboration, but some of the features are only available if you're connected to the Internet. And really, you should be connected to the Internet if you have a mobile device.
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Kingsoft Office is not the most popular Android office suite, but quite honestly we don't know why. It's free, it views and edits documents just fine, renders complex files better than many paid applications, supports copy-paste between apps, displays embedded images, opens encrypted documents and much more. And gets our most sincere appreciation and recommendation.
DocumentsToGo is probably the most popular office suite for Android. It comes with a hefty price tag for a mobile application, but it offers plenty of functionality with standard support for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and PDFs. Functions include dealing with password protected files, word counts, finding words, but it doesn't render embedded images.
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There's nothing free in ThinkFree Office - the current price tag is $9.99 after a price drop from $21.99. The pros include good compatibility with Microsoft Office files, with fancy formatting treated well in most cases. But - and this one is a big drawback - it sometimes crashes, and some users have reported that it stopped working on their device after update. Proceed with extra caution.
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Picsel has put some effort in the second version of its Smart Office for Android, but it still does not favor heavily formatted documents. Affordable, with the plus of working well on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
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This one is well designed for both Android tablets and phones, and this makes it stand out among others. It handles embedded images and other content brilliantly, even allowing you to resize them inside the document. It supports Google Docs and cloud services, and also opens all kinds of files including zipped ones. One of the better Android office suites.
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