Here is another app for your iPhone. I like this application. I might be getting an iPhone soon and if I do, I will be sure to get Quickoffice also. Quickoffice has been in the business of supplying productivity software to mobile devices for a number of years with 100 million applications running on the Palm, Nokia’s Symbian, and other systems. They provide native viewing and editing of Microsoft® Office documents in over 47 languages. Quickoffice recently made available their full Office suite for the iPhone with Word and Excel editing capability. It is named Quickoffice for iPhone. I spoke with David Halpin, their VP of Engineering. David said they have applied the code and lessons learned with other systems to create the iPhone application so it is a mature application running on a new platform.
He showed me how it worked. We first looked at Word functionality. Quickoffice for iPhone has an intuitive user interface and supports comprehensive functionality including cut, copy and paste, font formatting, content selection and bullets within Word documents. You often use finger taps instead of moose clicks. You can single and double tap. You can even triple tap to select a paragraph. You can zoom in on text to make your finger taps more accurate by holding your finger down. This is a feature I need with my fat fingers. I like the way the text word wraps so you do not have to scroll from side to side but just scan down. You can vary the text size and the screen redoes the word wrap. Here is a sample screen with some editing functions.
Users can also bring up a wider keyboard to edit and create documents in landscape mode (see below).
Excel functionality is similar to Word but tailored for spreadsheets. It includes extensive mathematical and statistical formulas, with 125 functions. Other useful features include file sharing capabilities via Wi-Fi desktop connectivity and access to one's MobileMe iDisk account. Editing is done while maintaining perfect data integrity, in addition to 'auto-save' to ensure none of your work is lost on-the-go. This auto-save is important on the iPhone, as it can only do one thing at a time. If a phone call comes in, it will quit Word. After you finish the call Quickoffice takes you back to where you where in Word. Here is another editing screen.
I asked David about the main uses of Office applications on a mobile device. He said it has primarily been for viewing documents and making minor edits. Now there are also netbooks, sized between mobile phones and laptops, that allow for more editing. Quickoffice is increasingly providing capabilities for these devices. More editing occurs with these larger devices.
Since Quickoffice connects to the cloud, you can access data in such sources as Apple’s MobleMe. This opens up the future possibilities of adding collaborative features and this is part of the vision for Quickoffice. David said they will not try to rebuild the many collaborative features in the multiple platforms already on the market, but rather allow you access to these platforms. They want you to get to your data from a mobile device and work with it regardless of where it is stored.
Quickoffice for iPhone will also make its functionality available in separate applications to cater to an individual's needs. Quicksheet, formerly MobileFiles Pro, includes only Excel editing functionality and Quickword features only Word editing. Quickoffice Files, formerly named MobileFiles 2.0, enables users to access and view documents.
David said that Microsoft has been opening up access to Office functionality. The 2003 and 2007 releases make it easier to connect with these tools. Quickoffice for iPhone is available through the Apple App Store for $19.99. Many of their other offerings are shipped on Symbian devices. The changing economy is putting pressure on many of these device suppliers and business models in this market are adjusting. However, overall the market remains robust.