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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

ThinkFree Mobile for Tablet

Like Quickoffice, ThinkFree has a nice range of slide-creation tools, including options for inserting text boxes, tables, shapes, and images. The app has just three graphical background options, though. While it's an improvement over Quickoffice, it still restricts the way you can make your presentations look.

The verdictThis one is tricky, as none of the apps' presentation functionality is 100 percent perfect. That said, OfficeSuite Pro's simple and attractive graphical templates make it the best choice for anyone looking to create basic presentations or to edit and manipulate existing presentations. For anyone who needs more finite control over newly created slideshows, ThinkFree may be a better choice, thanks to its superior customization tools -- but know that any presentations you create with it will be somewhat limited in the way they can look due to the app's underwhelming background selection.

The best Android tablet PDF markup programWhile all of our office suite contenders allow for PDF viewing, only one of them provides an option for highlighting or marking up the files: Quickoffice Pro HD.

Given the fact that Quickoffice lags behind other office suite contenders in so many areas, however, I wouldn't recommend spending $20 on it for this function alone. Instead, I'd suggest grabbing Unidocs' EzPDF, available for $3.

EzPDF has a huge number of features, all in a slick-looking interface that translates nicely to the tablet form. EzPDF lets you annotate documents with text or freehand drawing. You can highlight or underline text, add in shapes and images, and crop or rotate preformatted pages. The app can select text from PDF documents, too, after which you can copy it to your system clipboard and use it as needed in other applications.

EzPDF is even built to work naturally with stylus devices, making it an excellent option for users with pen-based tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Note. With the program's free cloud plug-in add-on, you can also connect it directly to your Google Docs account for seamless in-app access to cloud-based files.

Putting it all together: The ideal Android tablet office suiteFor word processing, spreadsheet editing, and presentation management, OfficeSuite Pro is the best overall office suite available for Android tablets. From its stellar interface to its wide range of features and cloud connectivity options, OfficeSuite Pro delivers a superb user experience and stands in a league of its own. Its primary drawback is in the area of presentations, where it shines at simple slide creation -- with a variety of ready-made, slick-looking backgrounds -- but is limited in the amount of customization it provides.

If PDF editing is part of your routine, you'll want to add EzPDF to the equation; it offers a standout tablet-optimized interface for marking up PDF documents in any way you might need. With its $3 price tag, your total expense between that and OfficeSuite will be $18 -- still $2 less than you'd spend on Quickoffice, which includes PDF markup functionality but is significantly less impressive than OfficeSuite Pro in many other regards.

With those tools at your disposal, your tablet will be well on its way to becoming a mobile work machine. If you can manage to stay away from Words with Friends, your potential for productivity should be sky-high.

 

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