Smartphones and tablets aren't just fun-to-use devices, they make great work companions too. Along with playing games, watching movies, reading books or simply browsing the mobile apps market, you can boost productivity at work too. The current two-horse mobile race, Google Play and Apple App stores are loaded with work-related apps. Tablets are being increasingly used in office environments, sometimes maybe even replacing notebooks. But of course, keeping in mind some limitations on tablets, it’s important that users choose the right productivity suite for the task. Office suites for mobile make great productivity apps, letting you create, view, edit and collaborate Word, Spreadsheets and Presentations on-the-go. We’ve picked the four most popular office suites, namely, Documents To Go, Google Drive (Google Docs), iWork and QuickOffice, and pitted them against each other. Take a look at how they fared.

Documents To Go – Android, iOS
It’s been a decade that Documents To Go by Dataviz has been serving as the Office compatibility and productivity solution. It has survived the long run and even today is a nifty option as an Office suite for mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Symbian and BlackBerry. It has all the basic features of an Office suite that allow you to view, create and edit Word, Excel and Presentation files on-the-go. This decade-old suite has also adapted quickly to changing times with applications for leading mobile platforms with essential features like syncing, sharing and cloud support. It supports Office and Adobe formats such as doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx and pdf. In Word, it offers extremely rich and wide formatting options like bold, italics, underline, font color, alignment, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, bookmarks, and more. On the flip side, you cannot add or edit images in Word. It handles spreadsheets well with all the basic features like data entry and some algebraic calculations, but doesn’t allow you to merge cells. The spreadsheets also don’t support adding or editing images. It lets you view, edit and even create presentations on your mobile device, but here again, your presentation will be all text as you can't add  images. The app only lets you view PDF files. On the cloud front, it offers syncing your work on Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, iDisk & SugarSync. Of course, you’ll need the respective apps installed on the device for the features to work. The user interface is maintained across Word, Spreadsheets and Presentations, and is quite neat with bottom and top rows showing functions dedicated to the feature you are using. Android users will have to download the main Documents To Go app and then buy the full version key for Rs. 794.55,  while for iOS it ranges from approximately Rs. 500 to Rs. 850.

Wide array of formatting features

Wide array of formatting features

Pros
Neat and straightforward interface
Wide formatting and cloud storage options

Cons
Limited and boring templates for presentation
No support for adding and editing images in Word, Spreadsheet and Presentation

Google Drive – Android
Google’s long-awaited cloud competitor for the mobile market is finally here and packs in some nifty features. It comes with full integration of Google Docs and hence, it's a great productivity tool available for free. However, it isn’t completely ready yet and currently only Android users can reap the benefits of mobile Google Drive. For iOS users, the usage is limited to editing Word documents; other features aren't yet incorporated properly. For Android users, it allows creating, viewing and editing Word and Spreadsheet files but doesn’t support presentations yet. You will find all the basic formatting options, but there is no spell check or ability to add or edit images in the Google Drive for Android. With spreadsheets, it supports basic calculations but there's no support for charts and images. Also, you can’t tweak much with the cells. Here again, you can just view PDF files. It is a very handy collaborative tool allowing you to share your files with others with real time editing (current support for Word). This makes it a great option for projects or when multiple people are working on a file. You can even choose if the person you are sharing the file with can just view or even edit it. It lets you add and resolve comments too. You can create folders and store all your other data with its 5GB of free space. Once Google improves the device with all the essential features and improvements, it has the potential to be one of the best office suites.

Good at collaboration

Good at collaboration

Pros
An amazing collaborative tool
Powerful search feature

Cons
Google Drive mobile has limited features so far

iWorkPages, Numbers, Keynote
Apple’s Office suite comes with a trio of apps bundled as iWork – Pages, Numbers and keynote. These are three separate apps, but Apple has ensured the user experience and general workflow is same across all three. To begin with, Pages for word processing can read .doc or .docx files and offers some cool templates to choose from, such as party invites, letter samples, and so on. Moreover, unlike Documents To Go and Google Drive, it lets you add, edit, and resize images for Pages. You will also find the basic and essential formatting tools. With spreadsheets too, iWork Numbers is quite efficient. Along with calculation abilities, the app gives some templates for Numbers and lets you resize and merge cells. It supports images in Spreadsheets, too. In Keynote, there are a slew of neat templates to choose from, along with the ability to add, edit, and resize images. Once you start working with any of these apps, it will instantly ask you to sync the content with iCloud. However, don’t expect cross platform syncing or support for other cloud services. As iWork is available in the form of three different apps, Pages,. Numbers and Keynote cost approximately Rs. 529 each.

Neat and clutter-free iWork Keynote

Neat and clutter-free iWork Keynote

Pros
iWork allows to add, edit and resize images
It is feature loaded

Cons
No cross platform support

QuickOffice – Android, iOS
QuickOffice (Pro) also offers almost all text-related features from formatting to other basic tools to tweak data, such as bold, italics, underline, font sizes, styles etc. In spreadsheets too, it has all the basic features for resizing cells, calculations and even merging cells. QuickOffice won’t disappoint you on the presentations front either and it allows viewing and annotating PDF files too. Although QuickOffice for Android comes with support for inserting and resizing images in Word, Spreadsheet and Presentation, this ability goes missing for iOS in Word and Spreadsheet. Moreover, the feature list for iOS and Android varies slightly. The user interface is neat and almost similar to Documents To Go. QuickOffice Pro for iOS and Android is priced around Rs. 790.

Feature-loaded for Android

Feature-loaded for Android

Pros
Feature-loaded for Android platform

Cons
No native printing and poor collaborative features.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Comparison and final verdict
The comparison chart above shows the paramerts we considered and the ratings depend upon the availability of the feature for both platforms. In word processing, Documents To Go, iWork and QuickOffice, all three offer almost all abilities to work around well, but only QuickOffice (Android) and Pages offer support for images. The same goes with spreadsheets and sadly, in presentations as well. On the other hand, Google Drive comes across as the best option for collaborative work as it has some easy sharing options that allow you to conveniently work with others on the same file and view the changes. QuickOffice Pro (Android) is better at handling spreadsheets compared to Google Drive or Documents To Go with almost all basic features required for creating and editing files. It has some decent templates to choose from as well. QuickOffice and Documents To Go offer a wide range of cloud options as well. Overall, iWork is a great option but is limited only to iOS (needless to say). Documents To Go is a good option if most of your work is on Word. Weighing the pros and cons and considering you are ready to shell out some moolah for these productivity apps, iWork and QuickOffice come across as the best options.

Main Image Credit: Getty Images

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,