Five best word processors for Android

If you need a word processor for your Android device, you cannot go wrong with one of these five.

Five best word processors for Android

I write. A lot. On occasion, I write on the go. It doesn't happen often (because I'm almost always at my desk), but when it does, I need the best tool for the job. That means a quality word processor. Fortunately, on the Android platform, there are plenty of tools for that task.

But which are the best in show? I've narrowed the field down to five, each of which could easily stand as my go-to tool. Without much ado, let's dive in and find out, which word processors made the list.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

Google Docs

Google Docs is a no-brainer for this list. Why? It's a full-blown word processor, that happens to be a part of the Google apps ecosphere. Because of this, you can be certain of at least two things:

  • It interacts seamlessly with the platform.
  • It runs with a level of reliability that similar apps cannot touch.

Chances are, since you're using Android, you're also quite familiar with the Google landscape of applications. Any familiarity you have with the desktop version of Google Docs translates over to the mobile version, so you won't have any problem getting up to speed. And even with the mobile version of Google Docs, you can export your document in any of the .docx, .pdf, .odt, .txt, .rtf, .html, .zip, or .epub formats (Figure A), making this a perfect tool for on-the-go business users.

Figure A

Figure A: Exporting with Google Docs.

WPS Office

WPS Office has been around for some time and has proven itself a strong contender in both the desktop and mobile workspaces. The mobile version of the WPS Office word processor makes writing on the go as painless as possible. The WPS word processor has one of the best text formatting tools on the mobile market (Figure B), offers easy file sharing, can export to PDF, includes a document merge, includes a revise mode, and it can insert images, text boxes, shapes, comments, tables, spell check, and much more.

Figure B

Figure B: The WPS formatting tool is tops.

Although WPS might not integrate into the Google ecosphere as well as Google Docs, if you're looking for a mobile word processor with power and features to spare, WPS might be the tool for the job.

Polaris Office

Polaris Office offers a very clean interface, that doesn't distract you from doing your job. With multiple layout modes (Margins, Orientation, Size, Columns, Text Direction, and Page Layout), you can use Polaris in a way that makes sense for you. Polaris also includes a basic review mode that offers spell check and comments (although, no revision feature), as well as the ability to annotate with a simple draw mode (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C: The Polaris draw mode tool.

One very handy addition is the included text-to-speech feature. If you're on the go, and you need a document read aloud, you won't have to bother installing a third-party tool. From the view window, tap the upward-pointing arrow and then tap Read Text. This feature is not available in every Android word processor.

Free Office: Textmaker Mobile

The free version of Textmaker Office might not have the modern-looking interface as the other tools, but it does a great job of allowing you to create and edit documents on the go. In fact, of all the offerings on the list, Textmaker Office includes a feature set on par with the competition, and also offers a track changes option that is very similar to what you're accustomed to (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D: Make sure you're configured your name and initials in the Textmaker settings, so track changes works.

And if you need help getting up to speed with Textmaker, there's a built-in help tool that can assist you in understanding how the interface and features function. Just don't let the semi-outdated interface fool you, Textmaker Office is a stellar entry in the word processing field.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word isn't the best of this bunch, but it is still better than other available options on the Android platform. With an interface that is somewhat familiar to many users, Microsoft Word for Android offers one of the more shallow learning curves available. Microsoft word also gives the user a choice between standard and mobile view (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E: The MS Word mobile view.

If you're working with an Android tablet, you might find the standard view is the better option. No matter the size of your Android phone, the mobile view is the better option for such a device. MS Word offers a fairly standard feature set for a mobile word processor. No, you won't find every feature make its way from the desktop or cloud version of Word, but there is enough features to allow you to get that document written or edited, while on the go.

The choice is yours

You have choices--plenty of them. However, don't bother with the competition. Instead, go straight for one of these five word processors, and you won't experience any problems working with documents on your Android device.

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....