Quick Office brought Word document editing to the iPhone. This week, however, QuickOffice officially loses its corner on that market with the introduction of Documents to Go by Dataviz, a seasoned contender.The iPhone may not be my device of choice when it comes to doing significant edits to text documents, but in times of duress, it might be the quickest, most convenient, or even the only option available, so I like to have the capability. Letís see which of these two apps will earn a place of honor on my springboard.
Full-featured word processing on an iPhone might not make for a very pretty experience no matter how you slice it, but there are definitely ways to make it more or less pleasurable, depending on your UI choices. Itís a challenging task, taking the ribbon and/or menu bar of a full-featured desktop app and trying to somehow incorporate the same features into a mobile app interface.
Both Documents to Go and QuickOffice try to tackle the problem in much the same way: Store features in a menu bar across the bottom using expandable icons that open up to reveal more functions. While both apps use this feature, they both do so in a very different way, and you will probably vastly prefer one over the other, depending on your personal taste.
As for me, I like the implementation found in Documents to Go. The main difference between the two is a multipage menu bar that you can scroll by swiping left or right. It means that more features are available to you in fewer steps. There are three pages worth of menu bar items for word editing, including document info, bulleting and numbering. QuickOffice offers far fewer functions from its own bottom menu bar, although both include a very necessary document search function.
Some might prefer QuickOfficeís full-text menu list items, but I like the icons used by Documents to Go. They may be a little harder to grasp at first, but the space they save is well worth the learning curve.
In both cases, most of the features are spot on in terms of what youíd expect from a mobile word editor. You wonít get table editing/creation capabilities, but you will get font and paragraph formatting, list creation, and copy and paste. Interestingly, neither takes advantage of the newly built-in copy/paste functions of OS 3.0.
QuickOffice loses out to Documents to Go by not allowing you to create numbered lists, only bulleted. But it does offer some macro-level features that definitely trump Datavizís offering. For one, it has MobileMe iDisk integration baked in, so that all you have to do is enter your credentials and youíre off. Another incredibly useful feature is the ability to email documents you create to anyone from right within the app. Documents to Go doesnít even have an export to mail function.
Documents to Go does have the ability to sync with a desktop client they offer for free, and to save directly to the desktop should you so desire, as long as you have a network connection. I tend to prefer not having to install any client software on my Mac, though.
In terms of actual editing mechanics for individual documents, Documents to Go beats QuickOffice on usability. The interface is nicer, you have more control at your finger tips, and the keyboard button is more conveniently located. Itís also just much more pleasant to look at, in my opinion, which can be a big plus if youíre stuck staring at a small screen for any length of time.
With overall usability, though, QuickOffice takes the cake. Being able to share docs so easily via email and iDisk is a huge bonus, and loads easier than using Documents to Goís desktop client sync.
I actually had a hard time picking a winner in this rumble. For the purposes of this comparison, I was only looking at document editing, so I didnít take into consideration the fact that Documents to Go canít yet handle Excel file editing. Thatís supposed to be on its way in a future update, though.
What I did look at was price. Thereís a big difference between the two apps in that regard. QuickOffice is $19.99, and even QuickWord is $12.99. Documents to Go, on the other hand, is only $4.99 ($9.99 for a version with exchange support), and will eventually include Excel editing for no extra charge. Thatís a quarter of the price of QuickOffice.
Given that the primary reason Iíd even want to have a Word document editor on my iPhone in the first place is for quick edits at the request of a client or employer, and that I donít use Microsoft Exchange-based email, I decided that the ability to share via email trumps any advantage Documents to Go has with pricing and usability. If future updates introduce Mail integration, consider my verdict officially reversed, but for now, I have to give this one to QuickOffice.
In simple Quickoffice vs. Documents To Go
Interface. Both Quickoffice and Documents To Go can view Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDFs, and iWork documents. Yet, Quickoffice can generate and edit Word and Excel files, while Documents To Go can only edit and create Word docs.
File support. Both the applications will not be able to transfer files via a USB drive hookup or through pairing over a Wi-Fi network.
Price. Documents To Go is less expensive (about $5 and $10) than Quickoffice; while Quickoffice's Mobile Suite is priced at $20.
Image quality. Both Quickoffice and Documents To Go have credibly clear and realistic interpretation of images and text.
Editing tools. Editing tools is much more easily accessible in Quickoffice; while the Documents To Go app has only the word-only editing facility. Neither app can create or edit Office 2007 files at present; however, both had plan to add that in future releases.
Layout and usability. Quickoffice's menu systems scores over Documents To Go in easy accessibility and usability. Still, Documents To Go's more premium app keeps the options open for reading attachments sent over Microsoft Exchange. The setup process is a bit tricky when you start with; however as you go about it the actual procedure of reading and saving is quite smooth.
And the winner isÖ.
Although there is no set rules to judge this application -- Quickoffice and Documents To Go, believes in following a simple calculation. Those who prefer and actively work with Excel documents should adhere to Quickoffice. And those who rely more on reading e-mail attachments should opt for the premium version of Documents To Go.