Android Deal-breaker: Documents Viewer/Editor

I enjoy the Android OS and interface, its shortcomings notwithstanding. One of those shortcomings, as mentioned in my 10 gripes about the G1, is the lack of a documents viewer/editing suite onboard.

Initially, that was not a problem, as I was sure that I would be able to get a 3rd party application to fill this gap. Sadly, till date, I do not yet have a documents viewer and/or editor on my G1, and it does not look like I will get one soon.

No; it isn’t because there are no such apps for the Android platform. DataViz have Documents To Go for Android, and there’s also Quickoffice for Android. But the only way to purchase them (or even download a trial) is from the Android Market. “Great then“, you might say, “So go ahead and get ’em!

office documents viewer

Ahem, the problem is that paid apps on the Android Market are not available for our region yet. Yes; at the moment, no-one using an Android device in Nigeria can purchase anything from the Market yet. I’m not sure if any African country is currently serviced by the market either. Free apps are available for download though – and I have benefited tremendously from those.

Both DataViz and Quickoffice say that their applications are available only via the Android Market. I am not sure how it will hurt them to make the applications available for download or purchase on their respective websites. It just sounds odd that their prospective users are denied an alternative acquisition platform.

Meanwhile, both DataViz and Quickoffice offer downloads of trial apps and purchased apps for other mobile OS platforms directly on their websites. Why this strange approach to the Android versions?

Anyway, here I am stuck with a superb device but cannot do something as simple as view my MS Word documents, muchless edit them.

Deal-breaker? Really?

Is this a deal-breaker for me? You bet; it is. I haven’t had a smartphone in donkey years on which I couldn’t read my Office documents, so this is very limiting for me.

Checking the specifications of the upcoming Android devices, I do not see Documents viewer or editor listed for those either. Google, what’s going on here? This is a show-stopper, unless of course Android is being marketed as a consumer-targeted OS.

In which case, I’m out, seeing that I belong on the business end. I’ve certainly found one more reason why I will opt for a Symbian device – and this is a very strong reason.

I love Android, but I’m a fanboy of no platform or manufacturer. I use devices that meet my needs, especially those highest on my list of priorities.

Honestly, I am stumped at the moment. After using Android, it feels painful even considering using older mobile platforms like Symbian and WinMo.

But what alternatives do I have? I so need to be able to read and edit documents without having to boot up my PC. In the meantime, my heart will go on and on for Android… the lover I may not be able to continue with for now, unfortunately 😥

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6 comments

  1. Yomi,
    Dont worry the more elaborate version of android OS, version 2.0 is on its way coming soon and surely it shall contain all those incentives or even more. Sonyericsson itself said it shall wait until the 2.0 android version is ready b4 it start producing its android os phones.So have a little patience android fans.

  2. Abubakar, thanks. I’ll have to say bye-bye to Android till the v2.0 OS shows up in devices then. I have too much to do that cannot wait. In the meantime, I’ll go find me a smartphone running Symbian or WinMo, dated or not.

    I’ll probably just go back to the trusty Nokia E90, if I don’t find anything else that tickles my fancy enough.

    Cheers.

  3. Agreed, the lack of Office support is a deal breaker for many. There are a couple of free apps in the market that help somewhat.

    TextEdit – Create, edit, open, save plain text documents stored on the file system.

    GDocs – OTA import/export and local save of Google Docs files. Supports editing of word processor files as plain text and read only access to other document types

    Also you can edit Google Docs spreadsheets and view other document types in the browser at http://docs.google.com/m

  4. Dennis,

    Thanks. Yes; indeed, those alternatives exist. GDocs has been problematic, and TextEdit just too basic. In addition, I have to go online to put GoogleDocs to use. Sigh.

    As you pointed out, none of these really cut the mustard, and they are so underwhelming, considering that I am coming from a background of series of Communicators. Feel like tearing my hair out, really!

  5. In addition to the freeware editors/viewers afore-mentioned by Dennis, I also found IcWord. Again, it is basic and not quite elegant. In addition, it won’t open large Word files.

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