Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quickoffice Suite for iPhone - the first real Microsoft Office-compatible iPhone suite

According to laptopmag.com, Quickoffice for iPhone was released at the start of this month in the US. It consists of three applications:

Quickword, which lets you create, edit and view Microsoft Word-compatible documents on the iPhone

Quicksheet, which allows you to create, edit and view Microsoft Excel-compatible spreadsheets on the iPhone, and

Quickoffice Files, which is basically the previously released MobileFiles 2.0 (which we reviewed here: iPhone Mobile Files Pro review)

This app lets you transfer files between your iPhone and your computer. It also allows you to view different file formats on your iPhone including PDF, iWork, PowerPoint and pictures.

According to the site, it is the single best iPhone app to edit, create and share Microsoft Office documents. You get all of the essentials like word wrapping, the facility to open and edit large and complex files, and support for Word and Excel.

However, on our last visit (7 April 2009) to the Greek app store, only Quickoffice Files and Quicksheet were available. Also, the quickoffice.com website implies that the suite has not yet been released in full (there is an option to sign up for a newsletter that will inform of the release). Maybe laptopmag.com tested a prelease of the product.

In any case, it seems that Quickoffice hands out Word and Excel –compatible documents to the iPhone user without a problem. In Quickword, you may double-tap to highlight text and use two tiny selection pins to move and highlight your document. If you click and hold, you can also zoom in for more precise highlighting, or triple-tap to select an entire document. Further, you can copy and paste any text—an aspect that even the latest iPhone OS itself has yet to integrate (until its new OS Version 3.0 is available). Quickoffice goes further than formatting to give emphasis to usability.

If somebody calls your iPhone, your document is automatically saved, even when the app shuts down due to the incoming call. Quickoffice even autosaves open docs every 5 minutes- in case the battery goes bust.
Very thoughtful feature.

Excel functionality seems to be robust as well. You can highlight and resize columns, compute data using a huge library of functions, and more. Copy/Paste functionality isn't yet available, but laptopmag.com states that the company said it's coming soon.

The complete suite’s price is $19.99, but QuickSheet or QuickWord are also available separately for $12.99 each, or Quickoffice Files for $3.99.

Quickoffice Files, like its predecessor Mobile Files, syncs Office documents seamlessly with Mobile Me, via Wi-Fi, to an FTP server and directly to your iPhone, or can turn your iPhone into a mounted drive via Wi-Fi.

Quickoffice for iPhone apparently doesn't support the creation of PowerPoint files, but you can view them as well as PDF and picture files. After months of waiting for a real mobile Office alternative for the iPhone, we seem to finally have something really useful and all-encompassing that lets us create, edit and share our Microsoft Office-compatible documents with our iPhone.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Web-based Microsoft Office 14 will run on iPhone's Safari

An official Microsoft Office suite will become available shortly on the iPhone.

Recently Microsoft exec Stephen Elop's suggested that Microsoft Office is coming to the iPhone. Ina Fried from cnet news asserts this will be the case as Microsoft seems to have already announced that they are planning to introduce Web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in the coming months. The applications will run in Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Microsoft has already confirmed that this means Office for iPhone, as noted by Microsoft's Sarah Perez in November last year.

Microsoft did not explicitly state there will be a free version, though executives have noted the apps will be part of Office Live, which comes as both free and subscription packages. Perez insinuates that there will be both free and paid options. I am just curious whether this will appear as a gadget in the iPhone’s AppStore.


Generally speaking, one of the significant changes with Office 14 is the fact that, in addition to the desktop versions, Microsoft will also produce a set of "Office Web Applications" essentially slimmed-down versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that can run via a Web browser, including iPhone’s Safari. For the first time, this means Linux machines and Apple's iPhone will run the programs.


Ina Fried produced a video interview with Office development chief Antoine Leblond that you can view here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10210254-56.html


Exciting stuff for iPhone users with a real Mobile Office!

Lukas likes sleeping- if you want him awake for more posts, you can buy him a bottle of Coke ($1)