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The best office apps for Android tablets

JR Raphael | June 5, 2012
With the right set of apps, your Android tablet can become an indispensable part of your mobile work arsenal. Here are the tools you need

Google Docs (Google Drive)

Google Docs' biggest advantage -- $0 price tag aside -- is its seamless integration with Google's cloud storage: Any files stored in Google Drive automatically show up in the app and are continuously synced with other Drive-connected devices. The app also supports live collaboration, meaning you can edit a document simultaneously with other users. The feature works flawlessly; you actually see other users' edits show up on your tablet in real time and vice versa.

The Google Docs word processing interface is clean, simple, and tablet-optimized, but it isn't exactly robust. It has basic text-formatting commands -- text color and style, alignment, indention, and bullet points -- but lacks much else in the way of options. You can't create or edit tables, for example, or perform a basic word count. At the time of my testing, the app also opened only documents that were in the proprietary Google Docs format and offered no option for converting or importing standard .doc or .docx files.

OfficeSuite Pro

OfficeSuite Pro's word processor shows how a tablet-based productivity app should be done. The app has a classy, sleek, and easy-to-navigate interface that's fully optimized for the tablet form and built to take advantage of its ample screen space.

Basic text-formatting commands sit at the bottom of the app's word processing window, while more advanced commands live along the top of the screen. OfficeSuite Pro has options for finding and replacing text, undoing and redoing actions, inserting images, creating and editing tables, and taking word counts. On top of that, it can integrate directly with cloud storage accounts from Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, and SugarSync.

Quickoffice Pro HD

Quickoffice Pro HD has a clean and easy-to-use tablet-friendly interface. In the word processor, all commands are located along a bar at the top of the screen. Those commands include options for basic text formatting, in-document image management, and -- as of a recent update -- table creation and spell check, the latter of which is a unique feature among mobile office applications. The app lacks a word count function, though, which may be a problem for some users.

Quickoffice is no slouch in cloud storage support: The app can integrate with accounts from a huge array of cloud-based services, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Catch, and SugarSync.

ThinkFree Mobile for Tablet

ThinkFree features an attractive tablet-optimized interface that's a pleasure to use. Basic text formatting commands sit along the top of the word processing window, while more advanced options reside in a second bar above that.

ThinkFree's word processor supports table management and image insertion but lacks support for advanced features like word count, comments, and footnotes. The app integrates with ThinkFree's own cloud storage service -- you're given 1GB of free space when you buy the program -- but provides no option for utilizing accounts from any other cloud storage providers.

 

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