Office suite alternatives for Android tablets

Donovan Colbert takes a close look at several Office suites for Android tablets, including Polaris Office, Documents To Go, OfficeSuite Pro 5, and Google Docs as a native app or via a web browser.

Google Docs native and web

A word about Google Docs native and the web app for Android. Almost all of this would be redundant and unnecessary if one of two things were true.

1. If the Google Docs web app worked fine on any Android browser. I've tried it with Firefox, Dolphin HD, and the native Android browser — and it just won't work right. Menus don't respond, graphics and text render incorrectly, and it's just generally unusable (see Figure 19).

2. If the Google Docs native app was better. I can't begin to explain how disappointing the native Android Google Docs app is. Key features are missing, and it looks amateur, like it's the winning final project for a high school programming class. Google should have put a major effort into making sure that Android delivers a world class Google Docs experience across Android devices, with a particular focus on Android tablets. That isn't the case though.

Figure 19

This seems to be just another case of Google having a scattered, inconsistent focus, and a road map that's all over the place and frequently neglects important things because every effort is concentrated on some other area. That's too bad. I'd prefer to just be able to get into Google Docs via the web app (which is what I'm writing this article on right now). Part of the reason both Documents To Go and OfficeSuite Pro 5 support Google Docs integration is because there's no other really good way to access Google Docs with Android devices. To me, that seems silly.

Did I miss anything, or do you have any additional information to share about any of these apps? Let us hear your opinion in the forums.

By Donovan Colbert

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...