News about SoftMaker Office for Android

We haven’t talked about SoftMaker Office for Android in this blog for quite a bit of time.  It’s high time to bring you up-to-date again!

We have been busy working on SoftMaker Office in the last few months. Thanks to the participation of many volunteers in our internal beta test, we were able to quash many bugs, and we could also find out which features our users would like to see in SoftMaker Office.

This made us add small improvements, such as the ability to use Ctrl-C, Ctrl+X, and Ctrl+V for clipboard operations on Android devices with hardware keyboards.

But we also added major things, such as a multi-language spell-checker that puts red lines under mis-typed words. As far as I know, SoftMaker Office is the first Android office suite that offers to spell-check documents.

SoftMaker Office for Android also lets you access files stored on Dropbox directly from the application. We are working on integrating Evernote, too.

I have already talked in the past about the features that make SoftMaker Office the most powerful Android office suite – such as tables, PDF export, a full implementation of tracked changes, comments like in Microsoft Word, image support in many different file formats, exact rendering of all Excel charts, a huge number of calculation functions in PlanMaker, and the ability of SoftMaker Presentations to show all animations and transitions of Microsoft PowerPoint.

But the most important thing: all three programs read and write the classic and the current document formats of Microsoft Office 97 up to 2010 seamlessly:

  • TextMaker reads and writes DOC and DOCX files,
  • PlanMaker reads and writes XLS and XLSX files,
  • and SoftMaker Presentations reads and writes PPT, PPS, PPTX, and PPSX files.

No other mobile office suites comes close in rendering all these file formats in such precision.

American trade journalist Tam Hanna wrote an extensive review of Android office suites for the German Android User magazine (it’s in the April 2012 issue). SoftMaker Office, though still in beta, was given a 5-star rating. In comparison, Documents to Go, MobiSystems OfficeSuite, Polaris Office, and ThinkFree all received lower grades.

QuickOffice received an exceptionally bad write-up from Mr Hanna: “American software publisher QuickOffice’s namesake office suite was a wholesale disappointment. The relatively pricey product runs stably, but renders documents mediocrely and fails with complex elements in documents.”

• • •

We will soon complete the internal beta test. Immediately after, the public beta of SoftMaker Office for Android will start. I recommend to watch our web site or our newsletter for the announcement.

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77 Comments »

 
  • Paul Galpin says:

    Looks very interesting

  • Norm Murray says:

    I am currently running “Docs to Go” and not too thrilled about it. Am interested in taking a detailed peek at your product. Please keep me posted.
    Thanks
    Norm

  • Mark Davies says:

    Very exciting; the ability to interface with DropBox is very attractive. Am looking forward to it.

  • Tim January says:

    Ive asked befor e how to get in on the private beta and was told at that time youd post more info soon. I am very interested in helping please email me the details on how to do this . Thanks again .

  • Anthony says:

    I bought the office quick pro its not to bad in fact I like it and its at a fair price sense it also works with google docs too. I hope its at a fair price too.

  • Rafael says:

    This is really encouraging, hope the product will be out soon, I am really sick of the other “office” programs which do not live to expectations

  • Keith says:

    Integration with springsad would be great!

  • Robert says:

    Can you port to BlackBerry PlayBook which now runs Android apps?

  • Russell says:

    Have been beta tester for months. Good product. Better than docs 2 go / quickoffice. Works well with drop box.

  • Jeffrey Mad says:

    I can’t wait for it. Just make sure all the BUGS get caught OUT! I wait with baited breath. oohroo.

  • Whitney says:

    I am SO excited to hear this! Are you in communication with Barnes & Noble to add this to their App Store? My life would be complete if I could finally do productive work on my Nook Tablet during my daily metro commute.
    Thanks for the update! (I second the “fair price” comment, though I’m not sure what “fair” would be considering SoftMaker ROCKS! There is NO competition!)

  • Philip Stanley says:

    I have been waiting for this for some time. I hope it will not be much longer.

  • Carlos Santos says:

    Is it possible to export to PDF via “share” intent? This would allow me to use HP ePrint Home & Biz to print Office documents!

  • benny says:

    Will it support RTL editing for languages such as hebrew and arabic?

  • Serge Zgonnik says:

    SoftMaker Office for Android – very good.

  • Andrey says:

    What about OpenDocument (ISO/IEC 26300) format? Are there any plans to support it?

  • sokel says:

    Don’t forget greek language in this product

  • bruno says:

    i hope that it work with ftp servers like home nas, no one do that….

  • admin says:

    Audrey, TextMaker reads and writes ODT (OpenDocument) files. PlanMaker and SoftMaker Presentations do not support OpenDocument yet.

  • admin says:

    Tim, the public beta starts in a few days.

  • Artem says:

    Do you plan to support iPad too?

  • John Vanags says:

    Will it create and display footnotes ?

  • Attila says:

    Currently on Android I am using Kingsoft Office. It claims to be a full office suite but it is just a kind of enhanced viewer.
    As a viewer it works quite fine, but as editor, its features are so limited that I cannot create a formula in their spreadheet! I hope there won’t be similar surprises in Softmaker Office….
    I’m eagerly waiting for the public beta!

    By the way, are there any known hardware limitations? I have a ZTE Blade with ARMv6 processor, and some software has limited or no support for my processor

  • Ironchef says:

    I will be waiting with baited breath for the pubic beta

  • Michael Santoro says:

    Awesome. As a long time customer of SoftMaker, I VERY much look forward to the Android release. I’ve been a user since I discovered SoftMaker Office 2006 for Windows Mobile, and I’ve never found a mobile document suite as capable. I already use Dropbox and Evernote, on my Android tablet, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well it integrates.

  • ATOR says:

    I´m very interesting in this application.
    Actually exist various office products, but not all are goods.
    I have a positive experience with softmaker suit in my laptop, so I wait impatient the public launch of this android app.

  • admin says:

    Attila, I don’t know of any hardware limitations. But please be sure to try out the beta when it comes out, and report back!

  • admin says:

    John, it already displays existing footnotes and allows editing of those. It does not yet let you insert new footnotes, but that’s pretty high on the improvements list (in the background, the full SoftMaker Office is running while the user interface in the foreground interacts with the user through a more simplified menu than on the desktop. The task is basically to wire the “Insert footnote” command from the frontend to the backend and add the necessary Android dialogs.)

  • admin says:

    Artem, it’s on our wishlist, but no time frame on that.

  • admin says:

    Robert, Playbook supports only Java-based Android applications. SoftMaker Office is mainly C++ with a Java frontend, and so won’t run on the Playbook.

  • admin says:

    You need to rush. iPad3 is coming. It will prevail the market before Android debuts.

    Make sure you release your Android version asap.

    I think your office will help people to give thumbs up to Android. Your office suite for Android looks promising.

    On iPad3 people will be using iWork suite components.

  • jimb says:

    a big disappointment for me is the inability to seamlessly print locally on any existing office suites. polaris is the only one that claims to do so, but it absolutey doesn’t. will softmaker be able to access the various printing apps (brother, samsung, hp, etc) and seamless print work. office suites lose a lot of their advantages if you have to email to a laptop or desktop to print your work.

  • Sandra says:

    I’d like to add my name to your private beta waiting list, should you need a rooted or unrooted (I’m easy…) Galaxy sII i9100, international version.

    Also, add my vote to those who’ve requested Evernote. I’m writing two books and I’d be lost without all of the Evernote functions.

  • Ron Stein says:

    Great News.
    I’d be happy to beta test … I have a droid phone and a Kindle Fire.

  • salacious crump says:

    I have a transformer prime with keyboard dock running android 4.0.3 and a galaxy S2 running android 2.3.5. I would be very interested in beta testing your new software.
    I use MS office in work and am a moderate user of excel.
    I have downloaded most of the android office suites in the market and found that none of them can cope with my modest requirements of basic formula functions for costings(perhaps the multiple brackets are too much for them) and the need to insert pictures into a spread sheet (although this is less important than the formula functionality).
    I also use word for meeting minutes and powerpoint for presentations.

    I’m baffled that there’s no competant office software out there that doesn’t crash or have stoneage functionality, when the games on these devises must use much more advanced functions.

    If you can crack this pretty basic nut, I’m in.

  • george crane says:

    I use Kindles Fire and Google Docs. I would only be interested if it integrates with these

  • [...] 15 times Looks like they are ready to release the public beta. Has all the hard keyboard ctrl functions AND, built-in spell check News about SoftMaker Office for Android @ The SoftMaker Blog [...]

  • Keagan says:

    I tried quick office, but it is terrible. I currently use Kingston office or Google docs, but am waiting for your android version!

  • Holger Trautwein says:

    … can hardly wait. Once Softmaker Office is available, my TFT101 will as good as completely replace my traditional laptops.

  • Kay says:

    I look out for the beta test, I loved softmaker for windows mobile.

  • Tim Gilmore says:

    I have been using Softmaker Office for several years. This is the BEST MS Office I am anxiously awaiting the Android version. Believe me, the price will be worth it. This is in another galaxy from QuickOffice and DocsToGo.

  • admin says:

    George, I see no reason why it shouldn’t run on the Kindle Fire. I am definitely interested in seeing the SoftMaker Office beta tried out on it. Could you do that and report back?

    Initially we will support Evernote and Dropbox. Google Docs is the next planned step.

  • admin says:

    jimb, while SoftMaker Office does not come with built-in printing, it can generate PDF files. Is it viable for you to generate those and print them?

  • Ilsa says:

    Are there plans to interface with Google Docs? Quickoffice is supposed to have that capability, but the one time I tried it mangled my spreadsheet and I had to redo a bunch of the formulas.

  • admin says:

    Ilsa, Google Docs is next on the list. It is a bit tricky because (at least last time I checked) free Google Docs accounts cannot store arbitrary files, such as Excel or Word files. Instead, they are converted to the Google Docs file format, and when you retrieve them back to Excel or Word. This causes a huge loss of document features because everything that Google Docs does not support is dropped in conversion.

  • Please put me in the queue for an android office software download . thanks , Dr R

  • How do you handle font support? One thing I’ve been frustrated with in the other apps I’ve tried on my ASUS tablet is they don’t support smart quotes, and I thought that might be because the display fonts that come with the tablet are only a limited subset of all possible characters and it doesn’t actually *have* curly quotes in the set. Does SoftMaker support smart quotes? Does it come with its own set of internal fonts, or does it use whatever is on the tablet/phone?

    I’m looking forward to trying this out. Like many others, I’ve probably purchased most of the office apps out there, only to be disappointed by all of them. I think my ASUS tablet could be a full-time writing device if a world processor with a reasonable set of features existed, and SoftMaker looks pretty good on paper…

  • Daniel says:

    You can upload documents to Google Docs (free) and have them not be converted. There is a setting in Google Docs where you can choose whether uploaded docs are converted or not.

 

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