Seven years ago people would have laughed if you dared suggest that smartphone office apps are a pretty good stand-in for the more established software that we’ve become so accustomed to using. Today, Android office apps are still not as comprehensive as desktop counterparts, that’s a given, but developers have certainly made the most of those little touchscreens to let you work on the go more productively than ever.
Here are some of our favorite office suites that we’ve found on Android.
Making an excellent effort of looking, feeling and sounding like Microsoft Office (its constituent parts are even called Word, PowerPoint and Excel), SmartOffice is a great option for those looking to leave Microsoft’s eco-system while still using something familiar. SmartOffice works with all of Microsoft’s proprietary formats, offers password protection, and lets you seamlessly save to the big cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box. It looks very nice, too, with an interface that harks back to the older Microsoft Office suites while still being modern and intuitive with its touch features.
Other key features
- Support for all Microsoft Office formats dating back to 1997
- Ability to annotate, highlight and share PDF documents
- Fast and accurate text reflow when reading Word documents
- Completely free – No in-app purchases
- Wireless printing
2. WPS Office
WPS Office is definitely the most advanced office suite on Android, and it’s completely free, too. It has everything you want from a mobile office suite and even a desktop client to go with it. It sports a beautiful material design interface that adapts to your device’s screen size, whether a phone or tablet, and comes with Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation, each of which has excellent Microsoft Office compatibility (Word, Excel and Powerpoint). WPS office can be used to create simple documents, but it is also packed with advanced options to spruce up your documents such as tables, images, charts, and much more.
Other Key Features:
- Ability to access and edit your cloud files (Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, Box)
- Great Word, Excel, and Powerpoint format compatibility
- Compatible with USB and Bluetooth Keyboards
- Support for wireless printing
- Auto-save and Document Encryption
- Option to share files using WiFi, NFC or DNLA
- Lightweight and fast
3. Google Drive (Docs, Sheets and Slides)
Google’s offering of office apps is great for users who are locked into Google’s ecosystem. You’ll need to install a total of four applications (Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets) to get the complete suite, unlike WPS Office which bundles everything into one app. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent choice and offers several useful advantages along with compatibility with Microsoft Office formats.
Other key features:
- Clean, straight-forward interface
- Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint format compatibility
- Files can be kept offline for editing without an Internet connection to be synced later
- Exportable to PDF and built-in PDF reader
- Excellent for collaboration with several participants
- Offers 15GB of free storage
- Can store files other than documents (such as pictures, videos, etc.)
4. Polaris Office
Polaris Office is an excellent office suite that has been around for a long time. Like all the other apps on this list, it supports Microsoft Office formats and comes with a built-in PDF viewer. The interface is very clean and not riddled with distractions, so you can focus on your work. It also offers its own cloud drive (Polaris Drive) where you sync all your documents, or if you prefer, you can use your existing cloud storage provider (Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, etc.).
Other key features:
- Comes with different templates
- Chromecast support
- Offers Desktop client
- Microsoft Office Compatibility
- Can export to PDF and Memo
- Camera mode lets you scan documents
5. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
Microsoft’s Office apps were a late addition to the array of Office Suites in the Google Play Store, but it quickly grew in popularity among Android users. Just like Google’s suite of apps, it is comprised of three separate apps: Word, Excel and Powerpoint, which means you can install only the ones you need. They all offer a similar clean interface, plenty of editing options and a familiar workflow to their desktop companion. Advanced features are available via an Office 365 subscription which starts at $6.99/month.
Other key features:
- Supports OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Sharepoint
- Offers familar interface with its desktop application
- Excellent compatibility and layout fidelity with Microsoft Office formats
- Offers templates to speed up document creation process
6. OfficeSuite + PDF Editor
MobiSystems OfficeSuite is yet another office suite on Android with some unique features that distinguishes it from the other apps on this list. It offers a familiar desktop interface which makes it a great option if you’re working from a big screen (such as a tablet). It has extensive file format support (including Microsoft Office & Open Office Formats), document scanning and PDF support. I’m not a big fan of this app due to its clunky interface which is riddled with ads. However, you can upgrade to premium to remove the ads and access other powerful features for $14.99.
Other key features:
- Supports editing documents saved in Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, SugarSync, Amazon Cloud Drive and Dropbox
- Can xport PDF to Word, ePub, Excel (Premium)
- Password protection (Premium)
- Digital signatures for PDF files
- Ability to track changes with multi-author support
Which of the above Office Suite apps is you favourite, or did we leave it out of the list altogether? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was first published in Feb 2016 and was updated in Nov 2017.