8 Stand-Out Apps For Office Docs

Looking Outside The Box

Despite the addition of printing and the promise of more features to come, Microsoft's Office for iPad still has some flaws. Many mature solutions exist that do more and are not limited to OneDrive. Here's a look at some of the best, all of which can open, view, create, edit and print Office documents stored on anyone's cloud.

Kingsoft Free Office

Perhaps the youngest of the bunch is Kingsoft Office 6.0 for Android, which began beta testing in April. This mature app for phones and tablets includes a file manager, integrates with mail, and supports Box, Dropbox and Drive, plus a wide variety of file formats for working with and printing all major Office modules and PDF. There's also a Windows version, plus Kingsoft Office v3.2.2 for iOS, which maker Kingsoft Software claims was the first iOS app to support Office docs. All are free.

Office Suite 7

Another veteran app that mimics Microsoft Office is the free Office Suite 7 for Android and the $1.99 OfficeSuite Professional for iOS. The app operates on and can print most common Office file formats as well as PDF and ZIP out of the box, and others can be added as an in-app purchase. A file manager works with local files and attachments on smartphones and tablets and can also access Box, Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and SugarSync, plus sharing via email, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct. The Premium Edition for Android costs $9.99.

Quick Office

Google's entry into the Office Suite fray is Quick Office, a free app for Android and for iOS that works in all device form factors and includes 15 GB of free storage on Drive, but supports no others. It can edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and can read PDFs. As its name implies, it's designed for quick access to Office files for viewing, editing and printing to Wi-Fi printers.

Docs To Go

Docs To Go from DataViz is a free app for Android and as Documents To Go for iOS that comes preloaded on many devices. It was among the industry's very first Office-document and PDF viewers, and now also can create and edit Office 97 through 2013 documents with word count, change tracking and freeze panes. With an in-app purchase, it also can link with Box, Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive accounts, sync with the desktop via USB and open password-protected files. A recent update enhanced the UI and improved the file explorer. It supports smartphones and tablets.

Polaris Office 5

Collaboration functions in Polaris Office 5 for Android and for iOS allow workgroups to use email or social contacts to collaborate on documents across devices and geographies. When no mobile device is available, files saved securely with Polaris Office also can be viewed in a browser. A recent update to the iOS version added OneDrive support; both now also link with Box, Drive, Dropbox and other WebDAV sites. Developer Infraware also offers Polaris Office versions for companies using mobility platforms from Citrix and Good Dynamics.

AdrOpen Office

AdrOpen Office is a port of OpenOffice for Android. Despite an inability to write to the SD card and other significant bugs, the Android-only app delivers functionality not available on most other mobile Office apps. In addition to its word processor, spreadsheet and presentation modules and support for many open and most of Microsoft's file formats, there's a drawing with JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, PCT, PCX and SVG support, plus math and database modules. A recent update added support for storing to and retrieving from WebDAV-compliant sites.

Android Office

Then there's Android Office, a $5.99 Android-only app with a few stand-out features. In addition to its ability to open, edit, print and email Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats old, new and generic, there's a powerful paint app that can open and save as PNG or JPG. What's more, its unconventional but useful home screen (shown) displays app modules as a scrollable row of buttons, under which is a scrollable column of recent files for a particular module. A recent update adds tutorial videos and an export-to-PDF for word processor files. This app works only with Dropbox.


Last but not least is CloudOn, which takes a Citrix-like approach to mobile file editing to deliver the feature set and UI of full Office desktop versions. Rather than building apps to execute on the local device, the CloudOn app for Android and for iOS connects to a free service that executes Office apps in the cloud, and opens and edits files there. The app sends screen updates and gestures back and forth and saves to a Box, Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive account. A recent update improves iPad performance. Printing requires the Pro version for $3.99 a month.

The Bottom Line

People that need to edit Office documents have a number of apps to choose from. In the vast mobile-app economy, numerous products from humble, hard-working third parties are every bit as stable, handsome and capable as those coming from Redmond. And the competition has a huge head start.