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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

The verdictIf you're a devoted Docs user who doesn't need advanced word processing capabilities, the Google Docs app might do the trick -- particularly if you're interested in real-time Docs-based collaboration. For most users, though, OfficeSuite Pro will provide the best experience for word processing on an Android tablet. Its only notable flaw is the lack of an integrated spell-check feature, but with nearly every virtual keyboard now providing on-the-fly autocorrect and autosuggest functionality, that void is not difficult to fill. Quickoffice Pro HD is a good choice as well, but lacks nice-to-haves, like word count; additionally, a less polished interface -- combined with its higher price tag -- keep it squarely in second place.

The best Android spreadsheet editorSpreadsheet capabilities are crucial to an office suite's appeal -- especially on a tablet, where ease-of-use is more important than ever. So which of our Android office apps has what it takes to excel?

Documents to Go

The spreadsheet editor in Documents to Go is feature-packed, but once again, its outdated interface makes it tough to recommend for tablet users. Like its word processor, the app's spreadsheet editor has all of its functions hidden in a legacy menu button that appears alongside the main system navigation icons at the bottom of the screen. It looks and feels like you're working on last year's smartphone instead of this year's tablet.

Google Docs (Google Drive)

Google Docs offers very limited spreadsheet editing capabilities. First and foremost, only spreadsheets saved in Google Docs format will open in the app, rendering it useless for editing of any desktop-created documents. Beyond that, only the most basic data-entry and row-sorting functions are supported -- and even those tasks are somewhat difficult to perform. More advanced features like text formatting, calculations, and multiple worksheet toggling are all missing in action.

OfficeSuite Pro

Using the spreadsheet editor in OfficeSuite Pro is about as close as you can get to a desktoplike Excel experience on your tablet. OfficeSuite Pro makes spreadsheet input and editing easy, and it packs a huge range of features -- everything from three-dimensional chart creation to cell freezing, comment insertion, and numerous data-manipulation functions. OfficeSuite Pro's spreadsheet editor has full multiworksheet support along with find-and-replace functionality, a jump-to-cell option, and simple multicell selection.

Quickoffice Pro HD

The spreadsheet editor in Quickoffice Pro HD is solid, but it falls short of reaching the same level of excellence that OfficeSuite Pro achieves. The app supports multiple worksheets but lacks chart creation tools and other advanced features. It has some data-manipulation functions but hides them in a curiously small scrollable box. Compared to OfficeSuite Pro, Quickoffice's interface looks noticeably less sharp and compelling, with far fewer options in easily accessible places.

 

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