by Yves Neidlinger on 22/04/09 at 9:41 pm
Yves Neidlinger is a technologist and a social media and marketing consultant. He is the National Channel Manager for Navara and the founder and Editor in Chief of iPhoneCTO.
If you owned a Palm or Windows Mobile device in the past ten years, chances are you are familiar with QuickOffice. It provides the ability to view, create and edit, Microsoft Office documents. While iPhone natively allows users to view Word and Excel files included as email attachments, the functionality ends there, leaving a gaping hole that is only now being addressed.
For months, we have been covering a variety of iPhone apps that promise to provide similar functionality. These include, the aforementioned QuickOffice, Mariner Calc for iPhone, Documents To Go and Google Docs which is accessible via Mobile Safari at m.google.com/docs. Only DTG has yet to appear in the App Store.
Back to QuickOffice. After using it for the past few days and reading a variety of reviews, I've come to the conclusion that you will either love it or hate it depending on your expectations. If you are like me and simply want to view spreadsheets and Word docs with perhaps some light editing, you'll be happy. If however, you want to use it to create and edit documents as well as send and receive your creations, for the moment, it is lacking.
One feature that QuickOffice deserves to be recognized for is Copy & Paste. They managed to pull it off and it works v
ery well. In a word document, you simply tap on the beginning area and drag your finger to the end of the text you want to copy. QuickOffice highlights your selection and then you select in the task bar cut/copy/paste or delete. The way it is implemented is very similar to what we is being incorporated into iPhone OS 3.0. Speaking of 3.0, upon its release, QuickOffice will modify their version so it doesn't conflict with Apple's. It's unfortunate that the app was released so close to 3.0. It would have garnered much more attention and sold better on the basis of that one feature alone had it come out a year ago. Now, it's only a stop gap that will be obsoleted in a couple months.
That being said, QuickOffice is hard at work on updates to address many of the well documented shortcomings. In a article by MacWorld, David Halpin, VP of Engineer and Product Development stated that in a matter of a week, users would have the ability to email documents from within QuickOffice. They are also including more file transferring options as well as more formatting features such as search/replace. Oh, and before I forget, something about PowerPoint support…