We review QuickOffice, the best way to edit Word and Excel files on the go
The default ability to view but not edit documents on the iPhone has long given the feeling of sitting behind a glass screen; look but don't touch. Now, QuickOffice claims to deliver this functionality and plug the gap in the iPhone arsenal but is it enough to convince your boss to trade in his Blackberry?
Much of whether or not you'll be satisfied depends on your expectations. A netbook replacement, this is not. On the other hand, those who often have to review and make minor edits to documents while out and about will find it a godsend.
In QuickWord, all of the functions that a general user might need worked flawlessly and it's worth remembering that they included options likecut and paste long before 3.0 arrived- who knows what other tricks they may have up their sleeves.
Without a doubt, there are a few design choices in here that Apple could learn from, most notably the fantastic zooming selection view within that does away with the original fiddly magnifying glass.
Over in QuickExcel, we find an equally powerful sister program. While you'll want to set up more complex formulas before leaving the house, it's an easy way to keep your budget with you or indeed update any kind of report on the go.
Both applications include an effective and life-saving quicksave system and should a call interrupt your work, reloading the app brings you immediately back to where you left off. It's also easy to get documents in and out with support for email, Mobile Me iDrive and wireless transfers, the last of which means you're also getting a free virtual USB stick for your money.
But you can't help but wonder how long it will be until Google Docs becomes a real player in this area. Whether through HTML5 offline support or dedicated applications, it can only be a matter of time with Excel functionality already halfway there.
Furthermore, for document creation, you're not getting much more freedom than if you created it in Gmail. But that's not really the point. For a fraction of the cost of Microsoft Office, you'll have an effective, usable mobile equivalent that provides everything a general user might expect from the proposition.
On a last note, as a final test, we wrote this entire review in QuickWord on the bus - a pleasant, if slightly slower process but one that made the most of time that would have otherwise been wasted. And you'd never have even known if it wasn't for this meddling conclusion.
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Platform: iPhone/iPod touch