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

The result: While OfficeSuite is still a perfectly decent word processor in and of itself, it feels second-rate alongside Microsoft's now-excellent effort -- like a slightly off version of the real deal with small but impactful compromises.

Android Office: OfficeSuite word processing InfoWorld

MobiSystems OfficeSuite word processing on Android smartphone (left) and tablet (right)

For instance, while standard Word documents look mostly OK in OfficeSuite, there are subtle inconsistencies -- little details like the occasional missing horizontal divider or a page break that's ever so slightly out of place. I've also had a couple of regular Word documents that flat-out wouldn't open in the app -- despite opening fine elsewhere -- which is disconcerting, to say the least.

On top of that, MobiSystems has grown increasingly aggressive with its in-app marketing. If you're using anything but the full "premium" version of OfficeSuite, you'll be bombarded with pushy upsell attempts at every twist and turn. Even with a paid subscription, the app pops up pesky messages and calls to action far too frequently.

After editing a document, for instance, OfficeSuite often prompts you to share the app with friends or rate it in the Play Store. When you go to open a local file, it routinely pops up a message suggesting you download the company's separate file manager app (which is not at all necessary for that function). It also puts alerts both into your system notifications and into an in-app messaging system pushing you to install items like a new email client the company is promoting.

Even with a paid subscription, you have to go out of your way to manually download and install MobiSystems' add-ons for basic functions like Microsoft font compatibility and in-app spell-checking. All in all, it doesn't make for a great user experience or an app that, with Microsoft's own elegant effort now in the mix, seems appropriate for professional business purposes.

At a Glance
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