It used to be that the only purpose your cell phone served was to give you the ability to make phone calls. My, how things have changed. Indeed, most modern smartphones and tablets are even more powerful than the full blown desktop computers we had only a few years ago. And we really are starting to treat them as such, especially with so many apps that can help us get things done on the go.
And, yes, this includes getting work-related things done. While the experience on a real laptop and desktop is probably still preferred, it’s possible to view and even edit a variety of documents using free Android office apps. These generally work with the main file formats we’ve come to know from the Microsoft Office software suite, but the mobile apps come with varying levels of functionality. Not surprisingly, there are also paid versions of many of these Android office apps.
Smart Office Lite by Picsel
In addition to letting you view major office documents, this app also comes with the ability to print to thousands of wireless printers from 34 different manufacturers that support the service. That includes everyone from HP to Samsung. The free app also supports cloud file access via Dropbox and Google Drive, but you will need to purchase Smart Office 2 ($9.99) if you want to edit and upload the files directly. What’s handy is that you can also export your files to PDF for ease of exchanging information.
ThinkFree Office Mobile Viewer
As its name implies, this is another one of those free office apps for Android that only lets you view your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. This is still quite useful, though, because you can view the attachments that you may be receiving from your colleagues without having to find and turn on your computer. ThinkFree Office Mobile Viewer even supports the rendering of 3D shapes, as would be the case with 3D pie charts in Excel. There are several other ThinkFree Mobile apps that expand on this functionality, but they are generally paid apps.
Kingsoft Office 5.3.2
While other Android office applications only let you view the various files, Kingsoft Office 5.3.2 provides you with rich editing features too. If you need to add some sentences in a mobile word processor, adjust some formulas in a spreadsheet or edit your presentation slideshow, you can do that. There’s even the spell check feature if you need it. Over 23 different kinds of files are supported, there’s a built-in file manager to automatically organize your documents, and there’s robust cloud storage support by way of Google Drive, Dropbox, Box.net, and other similar cloud service providers.
DataViz Documents To Go 3.0
Long before iOS and Android hit the scene, DataViz was already developing mobile office suites for earlier platforms like Windows Mobile and Palm OS. We previously highlighted Documents To Go in our list of productivity apps for Android smartphones, but it’s worth mentioning again. You get support for the usual array of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint file formats, including password protected files. This is just the viewer, though, and you’ll need to upgrade to the full version to edit your documents.
OfficeSuite Viewer 6.5 by MobiSystems
In general, you’ll find that a lot of free apps on Android are ad-supported, throwing up the occasional banner or interstitial for monetization. That’s not the case with OfficeSuite Viewer 6.5, as it is an ad-free office document viewer, natively opening everything from DOCX to DOCM, CSV to PPSX and everything in between. The thumbnail preview feature is quite useful, as is the extended cloud support for services like Microsoft SkyDrive. Not surprisingly, though, editing features must be purchased by way of OfficeSuite Pro 6.5 for $14.99.
Olive Office Premium Free
Free is good. Just like Kingsoft’s offering, Olive Office also lets you view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files for free. The word processor portion comes with the features that you’d expect, including the ability to bold and italicize your text. You can multi-select the cells in the spreadsheet editer, easily changing formulas and dynamically recalculating the results. The presentation tool is equally robust too.
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