Best office apps for iPad and iPhone
Are you following the saga that kicked off when the first screenshots of Microsoft Office leaked out for the iPad? Microsoft’s Office suite is probably the single most solid pillar of Microsoft’s growth recently, but a growing number of iPad users realize that you can easily get work done with plenty of available office applications on the App Store. This could shake Microsoft's empire in its roots, and that's why we start our journey to find the best iPad document editor knowing this could change the industry.
Unlike Microsoft Office for PCs, the options on the iPad are much, much cheaper (sometimes to downright free) and while we can agree that they do not have the full scope of Microsoft’s office, it seems that for a big chunk of users that full scope is not even needed. So if you’re still toying with the idea of your tablet or cell phone as a productivity tool, you’d better check out the applications below.
We’ve only included those that we know will serve you well as there’s plenty more of half functional office suites on app catalogs. Pay close attention to the descriptions of each app as they differ in advanced functionality - in some you can't add images to documents, others don't support charts, and third will downright mess up a beautifully formatted Word document that a client has sent you, but in the basic features of writing and editing they are almost equal.
We might have missed some apps, so feel free to join in with your suggestions in the comments below and let us know if your mobile device is adept enough for office tasks!
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If you own an iPad, Apple's iWork suite should definitely be your first stop when you're looking for office applications. It offers solid functionality with both viewing and editing, and includes a spell checker. It's an Apple creation, so the interface is tailor-made for the iPad - it's very intuitive and rich in options. Pages can also create tables unlike most other text document editors. We've reserved the best of Pages last - it won't mess up complicated formatting and images in existing documents, which alone should catch your attention if you work on complicated files.
Quick Office Pro and its HD version come at a hefty price and offer plenty of features, but they do have their downsides. While offering tons of formatting options and dealing well with heavily formatted documents, the apps don't offer a spell checker, but you can't embed pictures in your documents and charts are not supported inside worksheets. On the bright side of things, you can bypass iTunes to get documents and Quick Office works well with Google Docs, Dropbox and others.
Office 2 is the most affordable among our five picks for iOS office suites. As others, it offers the standard basic viewing/editing functions, and like Pages can create tables in word documents and the HD version comes with a spell checker. The biggest downside is that heavily formatted documents are not treaated well. For example, if you receive documents with images and charts, Office 2 can dismiss them and not include them in the file you've edited, which could end up disastrous. If that doesn't worry you, though, it's a good value for the money.
Documents To Go is another serious contender for the best iPad office suite. It comes in two varieties - here we've linked the lighter one; there's also a Premium version for $16.99, which we'd recommend to users with professional needs. It supports heavily formatted documents (shows images and tables), integrates well with Google Docs and cloud storage services and allows to find and replace. It does not have a spell checker, though, and doesn't support charts.
Picsel's Smart Office is available on pretty much every mobile platform you can think of, but in the iPad case, that's less of a plus as we would have liked to see more customization to fit the platform and more advanced options. It's the most basic and overpriced editor of the bunch, with no capability of embedding images or tables, but will still get some basic work done. It gets the fifth place among our picks, but it's here to round up the number rather than get our sincere recommendation.