Do you have an Android-powered mobile device?
Have you considered using an office app so that you can create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations while you are on the go?
There are actually a number of office apps available for Android devices. Some of them are really good and some have a few limitations, to say the least. So I set about to test as many Android office apps as I could so that I could bring you my verdict on the best ones.
The first thing that I will say is that the office apps now available for Android devices are much better than they used to be. Most of the apps are free and some have premium features which you can unlock with a payment or monthly subscription. So here are the 5 best office apps for Android.
You can get the mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel for free in the Google Play Store or at the official Microsoft page. Usually the words “Microsoft” and “free” don’t appear together but in this case, you can actually download the three applications at no cost.
It took Microsoft a long time to get its application ready for Android users but it was certainly worth the wait. The free versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel have most of the essential features enabled but you will need a Microsoft account to use these features otherwise you can only view documents.
The really good thing about the Android version of these Microsoft Office applications is that they look very similar to the desktop versions. So if you are used to using Word, PowerPoint and Excel on a computer then you will find it very easy to use the Android versions on your phone or tablet.
I found that the basic features were enough for what I wanted to do with the Microsoft Office apps for Android. You actually get around 90% of the functionality with the free offerings. Everything was simple and easy to use on a mobile device. If you want to open a lot more features then you can do this with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription.
Once you have created documents on your Android you can sync them to your computer using Microsoft’s One Drive. As you may have already guessed it is a lot easier to use Microsoft Office on a tablet than it is on a smartphone because of the larger screen size. I would definitely say this Microsoft Office is one of the best office apps for Android.
2. WPS Office
Did you know that the “WPS” in WPS Office stands for Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets? Well, you do now! The desktop version of WPS Office is a great alternative to Microsoft Office and the Android version is too.
The interface with the WPS Office is uncluttered and very straight forward to use. It will take you no time at all to get used to it if you use Microsoft Office or WPS Office on a desktop computer.
You can create all of the most commonly used documents with this great office app for Android. This means text documents with images and more, spreadsheets with complex formulae and powerful presentations. You can also create PDF documents from different applications.
WPS Office for Android comes with more than forty language options and you can print wirelessly from all applications. If you use EverNote on your Android device then there is integration with this too.
You can save your documents in Microsoft Office formats which are docx for Word, pptx for PowerPoint and xlsx for Excel. There is no premium version of WPS Office available for Android which means that you will have to tolerate ads popping up. But you will soon get used to these and they do not take away the fact that this is a fine office app for Android.
Another really good office app for Android is Polaris Office. This is somewhat different to the other office apps in that it uses an “all in one” approach where you can open and edit documents in the Microsoft Office format (doc/docx, xls/xlsx and ppt/pptx). You can also view files in PDF format.
Another useful feature with Polaris is the ability to cast your presentations, documents and spreadsheets using Chromecast. I really found the interface simple and easy to understand and use. You can sync your documents by using a cloud storage service such as DropBox or Google Drive or you can use the Polaris Drive service.
Polaris Office has support for more than 15 languages and another useful feature is that it will open documents from a Zip file without the need for you to extract them first. A final useful feature is the simple uploading and downloading of your documents from your desktop to your Android device.
4. Docs To Go
If you have been an Android user for a while you may have heard of Docs To Go because it has been around for a long time. It is also one of the best office apps for Android that is completely free.
When you first open Docs To Go it has the look and feel of a file explorer. This is so that you can easily locate the documents that you want to edit. It is compatible with the common Microsoft Office formats of docx, xlsx and pptx so you have a word-processing function as well as a spreadsheet and presentation function.
Once you have created/edited your files you can save them wherever you want. One of the really cool features of Docs To Go is that you are able to track the changes that you have made to your files in a similar way to the “track changes” function in Microsoft Office.
If you want to sync your files to your desktop then you will need to pay for this feature to be unlocked. The same goes for saving your files to many different cloud storage services. You can only open password-protected documents if you pay extra too.
The last Android office app to make my list is the very versatile OfficeSuite. With OfficeSuite you can sign in to sync with other devices and connect with various cloud services to open your documents ready for editing.
You will be able to open Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with OfficeSuite because it supports all of the formats (doc/docx, xls/xlsx and ppt/pptx) and it will also open PDF files, RTF files TXT files and ZIP files as well as others.
The free version of OfficeSuite has all of the features that most people will ever need. There are more advanced features available in the paid version if you need these. For example with the premium version, you can scan images and documents with your camera and also convert files into PDF’s.
I like the Microsoft Office app the best because I am used to using the Microsoft Office suite on my computer and the transition was really easy. This office app has not been around for too long and there may be a few bugs to surface with it but it is a Microsoft app so you know that they will endeavor to fix any problems fast.
WPS Office is a nice office app for Android but the ads can get a bit irritating and you can’t turn them off. I liked the interface and features of Polaris Office and the time tested Docs To Go was a good office app too. OfficeSuite is a nice app but if you want the advanced features these are pretty expensive.
At the end of the day, there is not a lot of difference between any of these office apps for Android. I suggest that you download them one by one and try them out to see which you like best. After all they are free.