Microsoft has brought office to iPhone, but with a hefty subscription fee. Here we see how it stands up against the best free office suites for iOS and Android. This app finally brings a mobile form of Microsoft Office to iOS devices but the results will likely disappoint anyone hoping for anything close to the functionality of the desktop suite. Older Office formats cannot be edited and there are few formatting options for documents that can.
You can access Word, Excel and PowerPoint files saved on SkyDrive but only if you subscribe to office 365. Moreover, you can’t create PowerPoint files. There wouldn’t be much point even if you could, however, because there is no way to insert images. On top of that, this app is not available for iPad or Android.Microsoft has a long way to go before this becomes the answer to once on-the-go.
The Free Office Suites APPS
#1 GOOGLE DRIVE
Create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations with limited text formatting, comments, and support for multiple worksheets. Others can view documents from remote locations as you edit them and you can print files using Google Cloud Print. It’s not a replacement for full versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint but you can open files in these formats and it has more features than Office Mobile. All edited documents are
synced to all devices that Google Drive is installed on. Not as comprehensive as some office apps but offers much more than just cloud storage.
Like Acer Docs this app gives you access to Microsoft office documents saved on a remote computer. Rather than just opening the files though, it allows you to remotely control the desktop. That means you can edit files directly on that computer using your own version of office. Although the app is optimized for touch screens, your computer isn’t. Therefore, office might not work as well as it does with a mouse – your computer must also be left on to use it. Still, you can easily upload files if you want to edit them directly on a mobile device. Fantastic features for free, this is the best remote access option.
#3 POCKET CLOUD REMOTE RDP/VNC
Like TeamViewer, this app gives you control over a remote computer. If Microsoft Office is installed on that machine, you can edit documents with ease as well as access Office components not supported by Office Mobile. You can use a Gmail account to connect quickly but the free version only allows you to register and control one computer, and you can’t upload files you’ve created or edited on the remote computer. As a result, you have to save them to a cloud storage service installed on the server or use a web browser to access them. Works well for remote access but lacks some features similar apps have for free.
This is one of the few Office suite apps that are available for both iOS and Android, standing out because it’s free and flexible. You won’t find some features that paid office apps like Smart Office 2 include, such as the ability to save to a cloud storage service. It would be churlish to complain, though, given that you can create and edit files compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also offers templates and a variety of formatting options, all of which are easy to access in Documents To Go-style menus at the bottom of the screen. Attractively designed with enough features that you’ll be surprised it’s free.
#5 ONLIVE DESKTOP
This app works like Cloud On by giving you access to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the developer’s remote servers. The big differences are that you also get a virtual Windows desktop and the full functionality of Microsoft’s programs. Speed and responsiveness are surprisingly good, which makes it easy to access many Office features with single taps. However, cloud services aren’t supported without a subscription and the app is currently only available for tablets, with the iOS version is restricted to the USA. A great online alternative to Office, if you’re in the right place.
CloudOn doesn’t directly put Office programs on your tablet or smart phone but instead lets you access them through a Cloud On work-space. You can create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and view several other file types. The app also supports Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive so you can sync edited files with other devices. You need a free CloudOn account but that puts far more Office features at our fingertips than Microsoft’s own offering, with little noticeable difference in speed. Great solution for putting many Microsoft Office features in one app – but requires internet access.
These are the some of the alternatives Free Office Suites. if you any other share with us in comments.
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