The best office apps for Android

Microsoft finally got serious about mobile, and Android office contenders have been forced to keep up

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Word processing

No two ways around it: Microsoft's current Word Android app is an absolute pleasure to use. Longtime Office users will be delighted with its familiar feel, while Office newbies will be won over by its simple yet feature-filled user interface.

Android Office: Microsoft Word InfoWorld

Microsoft Word on Android smartphone (left) and tablet (right)

The UI was a considerable pain point in our last go-round, so it's worth emphasizing how good it's become. On a smartphone, Word now gives you a small toolbar at the bottom of the screen for easy access to commonly used functions like basic text formatting, list creation, and indentation. Tapping an arrow on that bar expands it into a larger panel with the full range of standard Word options, neatly arranged into sensible sections (Home, Insert, Draw, and so on).

On a tablet, the entire toolbar moves to the top of the screen, and the various sections appear as permanent tabs -- a user-friendly touch that makes a lot of sense, given the extra screen space. Who would've thunk? Microsoft is actually leading the pack when it comes to thoughtful adaptive design.

In terms of features, Word has practically everything you could want in a mobile word processor -- a robust set of tools for formatting and styling text, tables, and images along with all the other elements you'd expect from Word on any platform. Many elements that were inexplicably missing in our mid-2015 analysis, like a native autosave function, are now present (though keep in mind that some features, as mentioned above, are limited to paid subscribers).

The only asterisk is the potential for collaboration -- which was missing altogether in 2015 and is now present in theory but not entirely functional in reality. I've tried numerous times to collaborate on a document in real time with two different accounts, one signed in on Android and another on a desktop, and the system does not work consistently. More often than not, the Android side fails to update changes; as a result, neither party ends up seeing the other's work (or at best, ends up seeing it only after a significant delay).

On the plus side, Word handles local files as easily as it does those stored in its own OneDrive cloud service or even third-party services like Dropbox or Google Drive. It's completely seamless to shift between the Android Word app and the Word app on any other platform; file fidelity is never anything you'll have to worry about in this product family.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Features (50%)
Usability (25%)
Interoperability (25%)
Overall Score (100%)
Google Docs/Sheets/Slides 7 8 6 7.0
Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint 9 9 10 9.3
MobiSystems OfficeSuite 8 4 7 6.8
At a Glance
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