25
Sep
11

QuickOffice Pro 7

QO_PRO_512x512-96x96Historically QuickOffce Pro has always been somewhat of a triple hitter of an app providing Microsoft Office Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewing and editing capabilities to mobile phone users. With the release of version 7 for Symbian the QuickOffice development team have added cloud based file storage/sharing to the product.

 

QuickOffice has been a default install on Nokia devices for a long time now with, in most cases the standard version limited to document viewing pre-installed with the ability to upgrade to the pro version to add editing functionality. To be honest, in the days of the Nokia N95 although I was impressed with QuickOffice I ended up favouring ActiveNotes due to it’s simplicity, but this app never ported across to S60v5, let along Symbian^3, Anna or Belle.

This Review forms part of a multi-part review:

A quick visit to the developer’s website or the OVI Store provides you with the choice of downloading a trial version providing full Pro functionality for a limited period, or biting the bullet and buying the Pro version outright.

Scr000199On initial application start-up you are presented with the registration screen, completion of which will enable emails from the developer to keep you informed of updates. Once through this screen you arrive at the main QuickOffice screen providing access to (from top  left to bottom right):

  • Application Exit Button
  • Create Document Button: Create a new Microsoft Word (QuickWord), Microsoft Excel (QuickSheet) or Microsoft PowerPoint (QuickPoint) file.
  • Add Account Button: Add accounts for five of the main cloud based file storage and sharing sites.
  • File Browser window: QuickOffice inbuilt file manager
  • Shop Button: Quick access to the QuickOffice online store via the default web browser.
  • Explore Button: Quick access to methods of following and keeping up-to-date with the QuickOffice developments.
  • Support Button: Quick access to the mobile orientated QuickOffice Support website via the default web browser.

Create Document

Due to the size of the QuickOffice suite (not only due to it taking 11Mb of C: drive), I have chosen to split this review into a number of sub reviews.

Application Interface and Responsiveness

The main QuickOffice screen interface is very fresh with the main window refreshing with it’s content flying in from the bottom and bouncing on arrival. A nice little touch with is pleasing to the eye. The one disappointment is that once you move from the main screen and file browser to the QuickWord, QuickSheet and QuickPoint sub apps the GUI returns to the older format.

Although there is a feel of commonality between the sub app interfaces, they feel a little dated when compared with the new main screen. My hope is that the sub apps receive an updated GUI to make the whole app feel re-connected again.

When it comes to speed of response there were no issues at all with all user requests being actioned with no delay.

Adding Accounts & File Browser

Adding accounts is a very simple operation as pressing the “Add Account” button opens the “Choose Provider” screen and creates a data connection to display all currently supported cloud services (see image below). A tap of the relevant provider logotype opens the relevant account creation screen asking for “Name” (user name) and “Password” information and a “Description” which will be used as the in app display name for that cloud account.

The current available cloud services are:

  • Google Docs – Free and paid services available
  • Dropbox – Free and paid services available
  • Box.net – Free and paid services available
  • Huddle – No Free service available
  • SugarSync – Free and paid services available

Once the account creation screen is completed and accepted the new cloud accounts are displayed in the file browser window at the same level as the phone drives and recent documents folder. From this point on when creating new documents permits saving direct to cloud accounts in addition to the default on device option.

Scr000204    Scr000202    Scr000206

Shop, Explore & Support

The bottom button bar may be seen by some as wasted space as it is limited to three large buttons providing access to:

Shop

Once the default web browser has opened you are presented with the current application offering from QuickOffice along with a number of 3rd party apps from SPB Software via the QuickOffice App Store and a “Free Downloads” area, based on their records for your phone’s IMEI.

Entering the “Free Downloads” area provides access to User Guides (pdf), Spell Check Dictionaries for a multitude of different languages as additional downloadable install files, Sample document templates and some simple Sudoku Excel spreadsheets.

Scr000213    Scr000214    Scr000215

Explore

Scr000209Tapping on the “Explore” button opens the default web browser and navigates the the QuickOffice Explore mobile page, providing access to the developer’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages as well as the QuickOffice Blog. This again appears to be based on your phone model and IMEI information although based it’s current content there is no need for this information to be transmitted.

Additional to this, there is a shortcut to the Quick Office Get Satisfaction page where users can suggest new features for the QuickOffice product range and support current suggestions.

The theory behind this interface is that the user community advise the developers of what they want from the application and via the support facility the developers can focus towards the features that the majority wish to be added.

Support

The final button on the bottom bar is the Support button, which opens the default web browser and navigates to the QuickOffice Support mobile page, which contains web buttons for User Guides and Support requests. This link also includes the phone model and IMEI information although yet again I am unsure why the IMEI should be included as all that could be required would be model information to ensure the most relevant information is displayed.

Selecting the “User Guides” opens a new page offering either a web based guide or a downloadable pdf guide (also available through the “Free Downloads” area of the QuickOffice “Store”). I assume that there is a possibility that the web based Guide may provide more up to date changes, but can offers no guarantees on this.

Scr000210    Scr000211    Scr000212 

The Future

One major question for QuickOffice is what will be the impact of the forthcoming free Microsoft apps coming to a Symbian Belle phone near you before the end of the year. Sadly for the QuickOffice developers this could cause the demise of QuickOffice for Symbian as owners of current Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna devices will receive updates to Symbian Belle meaning that all of these devices will also get the soon to release Microsoft applications.

This will only leave S60 variant phones needing to use QuickOffice, substantially reducing the market for this product.

Not having seen or used the imminent Microsoft alternative, there may be the chance that QuickOffice is the users choice when compared with the functionality and user interface offered by these new alternatives. All we can do is wait and see.

Conclusion

With a price tag of $14.99 (50% off the $29.99 RRP) at the QuickOffice App Store or £8 via the OVI Store this is not the cheapest app you will ever buy for your phone, but there is a lot of functionality included.

The price of the app ma put many off this app as most phone users only require a text application negating the need for the QuickSheet and QuickPoint apps for non-business users. In fact the majority of business users would only use the QuickWord app, although they may also their usage is somewhat limited too. I suppose the conclusion is that this is a very capable application, but for a very niche market.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


mbrett

Twitter Updates


%d bloggers like this: