MWC: QuickOffice for Android (and other prospects)

John Walton
Cell Phone Editor
Published: February 19, 2009

A few people have expressed some disappointment regarding the MWC announcement of QuickOffice for Android. The app that gave Symbian users read/write access to Microsoft Office 2007 files - Word, Excel, and Powerpoint (.docx, .xsls, and .ppt, respectively) - only offers Android users viewing and management of some Office 2003 files. Word, Excel, and standard .txt files are supported - no Powerpoint. The app will cost $7.99 in the Android Market.

Despite these limitations, the functionality that is available sounds great - like auto-linking of email addys to the email client, phone numbers to the dialing app, beautiful zooming, and the ability to receive compatible files as attachments. Considering that this may be the first priced program in the Market, I think we can expect some fairly rapid development as a result of funding and demand.

A company called DataViz, creators of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, are looking to bring their email product and the Office-friendly Documents To Go into the Google fold soon enough. Previous versions provided Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe .pdf access to other platforms, so hopefully we'll see the same pattern followed with Android. Adobe announced their own plans at MWC for accommodating Android by way of offering a full-version Flash 10 download some time early next year.

While it probably won't meet the needs of hardcore Microsoft adherents (and therefore, a good chunk of today's business market) Androffice brings some high-demand, practical workplace functionality to Android. The Open Handset Alliance's open-source project aims to approximate all of the primary features loved by MS Office customers, albeit in the realm of open standards. Instead of .doc files, word processing documents are saved with the extension .odf.

There are some videos over at the Androffice homepage showing off some spreadsheet editing, and it looks pretty decent. While the project is nowhere near duplicating all of Microsoft's Office functions, Androffice is off to a good start. It is not yet available for download. As the developers state on the website, Spreadsheet was just the beginning - they plan on developing a complete suite. With the backing of the OHA, chances are good that they will accomplish that goal.

Office for Android at

Products mentioned