Quickoffice was a very popular cross-platform office suite for mobile platforms that supported importing, editing, and exporting files in Microsoft’s ubiquitous .doc and .docx formats. The company, and therefore the app, was eventually bought by Google last year and went MIA for many months. But just last month, Google released an updated version of Quickoffice into the Play Store and made the app free to download. Great, but here’s the thing – Google already has an office suite called Google Drive, and by releasing a separate app into the Play Store, the two office suites now compete with each other. What sets these apps apart, and which should you choose?
Who Should Use Quickoffice?
Quickoffice’s largest advantage is its ability to edit Microsoft Office documents that aren’t stored on Google Drive. It can pull files directly off your phone’s internal memory. Before being bought by Google, the app supported many providers such as Dropbox, SugarSync, and others. While that’s no longer the case, the ability to load local files still means Quickoffice can load from more sources than the Google Drive app can. So if you don’t want to store your documents on Google’s servers, the issue’s resolved already. Quickoffice is the option for you.
And as far as being a competent document editor goes, Quickoffice is still the superior app. Google Drive is no slouch, but Quickoffice simply offers more features. If you have to create a document on the go that contains tables, images, colors, and charts, you will have better luck using Quickoffice to crank it out. Not only is the interface easier to handle, but since the editing takes place offline, it’s going to provide a smoother experience.
But Quickoffice has a serious drawback. It can load Microsoft Office files saved to Google Drive, but it displays Google Documents as PDFs – unless you have the Google Drive app installed, in which case it will load that instead.
Who Should Use Google Drive?
If you’re content with working with Google Documents, then the Google Drive app is a solid mobile companion. It’s nothing intensive, and it’s not as feature-rich as the desktop version, but it’s capable of getting by in a pinch. If all you need is something to type out a few paragraphs on or even a lengthy, text-heavy paper, you should be fine.
Google Drive in a desktop web browser can import and export Microsoft Office files just fine, but if you try to load such a file using the mobile app, you’re provided with read-only access. But with the Google Drive app, creating and editing documents is only half of the point. Perhaps the app’s strongest advantage is the ability to collaborate with others. It can show how many other people are looking at the open document at the same time, where they’ve placed their cursor, and the changes they make as they make them. Users can leave comments for others to read, and there’s a certain pleasure pulling out your phone to edit a document a colleague has open on their desktop.
Neither Quickoffice or Drive are limited just to word processing. Both can handle spreadsheets and presentations as well, but the commentary dished out above is the same across the board. Quickoffice is a more capable option for people who need to do more intense work using their Android devices or want to work with documents saved to internal storage. Drive is good for people with solid internet connections who aren’t put off by saving data to Google’s servers. The latter app also has nice collaboration features that could make it worth using on its own. But at the end of the day, these two apps work better together than they do alone. If you have the space available to run both (and with most modern phones, you more than likely do), then that’s your best bet.