This week I am looking at QuickOffice HD for iPad. In my ongoing pursuit of productivity apps, I am very pleased with what is coming out of the development community for iPad. Does QuickOffice HD raise the bar again? Let's dive right in and take a look.
Getting documents into QuickOffice HD is a relative snap. First you have the familiar ability to sync from iTunes. Just add your documents and when you sync, they appear in the app. However, the more useful feature is the ability to sync to the cloud. QuickOffice supports the basic usual suspects: MobileMe iDisk- both public and private, Google Docs, Dropbox and Box.net. You enter in your login credentials and QuickOffice will sync the folders to your iPad, but not the content. The folder content will give a preview but only load when you access the document. Once accessed, it stored locally. You can also open and save documents from email and that is always a bonus.
Folder navigation is very similar to the Macintosh Finder column view. It is my preferred view on the Mac, so I was very pleased with this and it was instantly familiar to me. You can create new folders with a simple tap of the plus icon and deleting and email documents is a breeze, just tap and hold the document and drag and drop it on the respective email and delete icons on the bottom of the screen.
To open a document you can tap on the name or rename it by tapping the blue arrow indicative in iOS for more information. Navigation within documents is easy and innovative. For example in a document you can pinch out to zoom and you are presented with all of the pages. You can then quickly flick to the end of your document. However, a great alternative is to tap and old on the right side of the screen. You can then slide your finger down and are presented a preview of each page in the document via the Mac OS X dock- style preview with magnification; very, very nice. For the spreadsheet application, pinching also zooms and you are given very convenient selection handles for selecting cells. I prefer the feature over what some competitors offer. There is also nice built-in safety feature; the app auto saves your work every minute. So if you forget to save and close the app, your are safe.
Creating documents and spreadsheets is easy and fun. All of the basic formatting options are available. Bold, colors, fonts, underline, alignment, formats, etc. For any sort of lite editing, this application will fit your needs. However there is one glaring omission: a presentation document. That's right, QuickOffice HD does not support PowerPoint or any other presentation application document format. This is such a shame as it is very close to being my favorite document creation and editing tool on the iPad. However, not having this support is a a serious hit for me in productivity and the competition has a leg up here. However, Quick Office does so many things right, I find myself going back and forth between iWork for iPad, Documents to Go for iPad and QuickOffice HD depending on what I have to do. Competition is good and all of these apps does something better then the other.
[$9.99- iTunes Link (opens in new tab)]
- Takes advantage of iPad's screen real estate
- Innovative scrolling methods
- Easy interface to understand and use
- Opens many other documents, but in view-only
- Missing PowerPoint functionality
- Not a lot of advanced features
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Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.
I see these "office" suites as nothing more than viewers.
I never thought I would say this, but I wouldn't mind Microsoft getting in the arena to spice things up a bit. There tools have never been great before on mobile platforms, but with iPad I think they can improve.