Image gallery: Quickoffice for iPhone has a couple major limiting issues

Summary:The iPhone is one of my favorite mobile devices, but the lack of Office document support is a bit limiting for those of us who need a device that lets us view, edit, and create documents and spreadsheets on the go. I was quite excited after seeing Quickoffice for the iPhone at CTIA. I talked with them about the upcoming product and some future updates already underway for the application. I have been checking iTunes regularly and finally saw it appear in the App Store so I went out and purchased it. Quickoffice is composted of Quicksheet, Quickword, and Quickoffice Files and you can actually purchase them separately if you like. After a couple hours of usage, I have to say Quicksheet is quite good and Quickword needs a couple of immediate updates. The application still shows how other mobile platforms are far ahead of the iPhone in some important areas (file structure/access and Office document support). Check out my image gallery for screenshots.

The iPhone is one of my favorite mobile devices, but the lack of Office document support is a bit limiting for those of us who need a device that lets us view, edit, and create documents and spreadsheets on the go. I was quite excited after seeing Quickoffice for the iPhone at CTIA. I talked with them about the upcoming product and some future updates already underway for the application. I have been checking iTunes regularly and finally saw it appear in the App Store so I went out and purchased it. Quickoffice is composed of Quicksheet, Quickword, and Quickoffice Files and you can actually purchase them separately if you like. After a couple hours of usage, I have to say Quicksheet is quite good while Quickword needs a couple of immediate updates. The application still shows how other mobile platforms are far ahead of the iPhone in some important areas (file structure/access and Office document support). Check out my image gallery for screenshots.


Image Gallery:Check out screenshots of Quickoffice for the iPhone.
Image Gallery: Quickoffice icon
Image Gallery: Working with Word docs

Highlights: I won't relist all of the features for each of the three parts of Quickoffice since you can see all of them on the Quickoffice for the iPhone website. A few areas that I find particularly good are the background autosave, selection bars, enhanced magnifier, and support for iPhone zooming technique.

If you go to another application or switch out of Quickoffice your current document state is saved and you will come right back to that document spot when you relaunch Quickoffice. The selection bars are easy to access with a double tap on a word or a triple tap (selects entire paragraph). The enhanced magnifier zooms you into a larger portion of the display than just the word view you get by default on your iPhone, which is an area I always struggle with. Quickoffice supports zooming in and out with pinch gestures.

What's wrong with it?: Quickoffice is a very promising application, but a few areas make it a "beta" release in my book and I can understand some of the low ranking on iTunes. Here are where I see Quickoffice needing help fast:

  1. No predictive keyboard entry support in Quickword
  2. Single press of shift key turns on caps lock
  3. No way to email documents or get them from attachments in email

The keyboard works with the iPhone predictive feature in Quicksheet so I have to believe this was just some minor oversight that allowed this limited version onto iTunes. IMHO, you cannot use the iPhone keyboard accurately without the predictive text functionality, especially since Bluetooth keyboards are not yet supported.

I don't quite understand the single press shift key issue and think it is tied to the predictive text capability since the shift key works like it should in Quicksheet.

At this time, you can use MobileMe to get documents onto and off the iPhone, but I do not have a MobileMe account so am not using this method. The only other way to get documents on and off your iPhone is by connecting your iPhone and a computer to the same wireless network and then using a web page on your computer to access the iPhone. If your iPhone goes into standby mode then the connection gets lost and you will not longer be connected. While this method does work pretty well and is fast, my real critical need for document editing and viewing is while I am out and about and get sent a file via email. After I receive and edit that file, I also often like to send it back out. I cannot do either of these things with the iPhone, but I can with my BB, S60, and Windows Mobile devices.

Even though the App Store description states that email support to send out documents is provided, I cannot find this capability anywhere in the application or on my iPhone.

I hope the folks at Quickoffice jump on these issues and get an update out soon because I truly do think it can be a must-have application for the iPhone. I also understand the great folks at DataViz are working on their iPhone Documents To Go program so competition should help out all of us.

Topics: iPhone, Collaboration, Hardware, Mobility

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.