Overview

Being productive on your iPhone or iPod Touch is not the easiest thing to do, especially with all the twitter apps, games, and well, full access to the internet. But, if you are like me, and want to get some work done every now and again, Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite might be the solution.

Quickoffice allows you to create and edit text documents, Microsoft Word and Excel documents, view Powerpoint presentations as well as access files from some of the most popular cloud services including: MobileMe and Dropbox. So how easy is it to create a document on your iPhone? Let’s find out.

Features

- Create and edit text, Word and Excel documents
- View text, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, iWork, PDF, HTML, MP3 and many image formats
- Transfer files via Wi-Fi in any browser
- Access files from Dropbox, MobileMe, Google Docs and Box.net
- Email attachments to your Quickoffice account and access through the app
- Email files to friends, colleagues and family
- Supports Word DOC and DOCX formats
- Supports Excel XLS and XLSX formats

To start with, let’s go through the various methods of creating and accessing files. Obviously the method that requires the least amount of effort is to create a new file. Select the document icon with the plus symbol at the bottom and choose the type of file you wish to create; text, document or spreadsheet. You will then be presented with a blank page and can start creating.

Another method is to use the cloud storage access. Press edit on the top right, choose ‘add account’, select the service you wish to use (e.g. Dropbox) and input your credentials. You can now access files in your Dropbox (or whichever service you have chosen). You can add as many or as few accounts as you want so you always have access to the files. Each account is added to the main menu so you can view and open files simply by selecting the account and browsing to the file.

The third method is to use the built in wi-fi transfer. If you are connected to a wi-fi network, an ip address and port will be shown at the bottom of the main menu (e.g. 192.168.2.1:1234). Enter this address into your computers web browser (assuming you are connected to the same network as your iPhone) and you will see a list of files stored locally within Quickoffice. From here you can upload files from your computer, as well as download files that are on your iPhone. The web interface is simple and easy to use, so anyone can easily transfer files. Through the wi-fi settings page, access to the wi-fi transfer can be protected with a username and password of your choice.

The fourth and final way of transferring files is via email. This feature is the one I use the least. However, it is an excellent feature if you don’t have access to a wireless network but need to get a file onto your iPhone. To be able to email files, you need to enter your email address into the ‘email attachments’ settings and click the link in the confirmation email that you will receive. Once your email is confirmed, you can email files to the Quickoffice email address and these files will be shown in the iPhone app within minutes. You can then download the files and store them locally on your iPhone.

Now onto the editing. Firstly, Word documents. The buttons along the bottom are for various different formatting options. All the standard word processing functions are there including bold, underline, italics, highlighting, text alignment as well as bullet points. You can also change the font style, size and font colour. All of these work the same as they do in Microsoft Office; highlight the text, select the change and your done. You can also get a word count for the document and find a specific word by using the magnifying glass icon. You are, however, limited to 7 font styles but this adequate for simple editing on the go. Editing text documents has exactly the same functions as editing word documents, although some formatting will be lost when saving (e.g. bullet points).

Editing Excel documents has a similar interface as Word editing, with slight variations and different formatting options. As well as the formatting mentioned above, you can add borders to cells, add a background colour, choose the number format and insert columns and rows where you need to. You can also add, remove and rename worksheets depending on your requirements. Most of the mathematical functions available in the desktop version of Excel are available on Quickoffice. These can be accessed by selecting a cell and pressing the function icon to the left of the input box at the top.

When you exit out of editing mode, you are given three options; Don’t Save, Save As or Save. If you choose to Save As (or save if it is the first time you have saved the document) you can select any of the cloud services you have set up, or save it locally within the app. You can also give the file a name other than ‘untitled’ at this point.

Along with the editing capabilities, Quickoffice allows you to view a mountain of different files beyond Microsoft Office files. These include PDF, iWork, most popular image format and MP3 files (which can be played from within Quickoffice). You can also view Powerpoint presentations and the developer says that Powerpoint creating and editing will be coming at some time in 2010 as a free update. When browsing through folders you can use the icons at the bottom to delete files, email them or download them to your device. You can also create new files and folders directly to the folder you are currently viewing.

If you get interrupted by a phone call whilst editing, Quickoffice will remember what you have edited and when you return to the app, all your editing you have done will still be in place. The amount of space Quickoffice uses for autosaving can be changed within the settings. Also within the settings, you can disable sleep so your device stays on whilst running Quickoffice, choose the format of new Documents (either DOC/XLS or DOCX/XLSX) and set a 4-digit passcode lock for the app.

The Breakdown

The Good:

There are so many things that make Quickoffice worth every penny; the wi-fi transfer is seamless, the viewing capabilities are excellent and the editing has more than enough features to cater to anyone who wants to do some editing on the go. But the feature that really sets it apart from other mobile office solutions is the cloud storage access. As a Dropbox user, I loved being able to edit something on my computer and instantaneously edit it on my iPhone. The fact that it has access to four different services means it should cater to most people’s needs. However, if you don’t use one of the services, you can still access your files quickly and easily through email or through the wi-fi transfer option.

The Bad:

When editing a document and you are trying to highlight a block of text, I found Quickoffice tends to zoom in and out occasionally which can be a somewhat annoying. Also, the wi-fi address will sometimes show as ‘null’ on the main menu although I am still able to connect to my iPhone when this happens so not a massive issue. My final irritation with Quickoffice is the lack of swipe to delete support when browsing files. Why this feature hasn’t been included is beyond me.

The Verdict

If your the sort of person who needs to create and edit document and spreadsheets whilst away from your computer, Quickoffice is an excellent choice. The cloud storage access is enough to make me use this app over other office apps available. The suite offers enough formatting options to be able to create documents that look so professional no one would know you created them on your iPhone.