Mobile applications (apps) for managing documents while on the go are a giant leap forward in mobile office technology. With access to hundreds of apps that assist with viewing, reading, and editing documents on a smartphone or tablet, small and medium business owners and professionals need not worry about leaving the laptop behind.
User-friendly document management apps give busy business professionals the freedom and peace of mind to work confidently from any location.
Common Apps for Doc Management
There are several apps on the market that make life easier for those who require instant access, readability, and editing of documents directly from a mobile device.
Some common apps are free for users, such as The Apache Software Foundation’s OpenOffice.org document viewing application for Android-based devices. The app opens Microsoft Office documents located in the file system, as well as downloaded documents, files on Dropbox, or files attached to an email. It also offers the ability to read text documents out loud.
For Apple Inc., Documents by SavySoda is available at no charge. This application allows users to edit and manage spreadsheets and text files on an iPhone or iPad, and works both online and offline. Files are opened using Microsoft Word and Excel, Open Office, Numbers, and all major Microsoft Office suites. An upgrade option is available.
ThinkFree Mobile by Hancom Inc. for Android is a document reader pre-loaded on many phone types, with a free version available on the Android Market. Full editing functions are available with the paid version. ThinkFree Mobile for Tablet is a specific tablet release.
A popular app for purchase, which supports Microsoft Office documents on Apple and Android devices, is Documents To Go from DataViz Inc. Version 4 was recently released. Compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, the app is available for $9.99, or $16.99 for the premium version.
Quickoffice Inc.’s Quickoffice Pro is a mobile Microsoft Office suite for iPhone and Android, allowing users to create, edit, and view Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the go. In addition, Quickoffice Pro HD is custom designed for tablet usage. File access is delivered locally via email or remotely through cloud storage providers.
“Quickoffice Pro/Pro HD helps small- and mid-sized business owners maximize productivity by enabling access to the most recent version of a Microsoft file, editing the document, and sharing with coworkers. Document management apps allow users to maintain a high level of efficiency, even while they are away from the office,” says Gregg Fiddes, SVP, sales and business development, Quickoffice.
The cost for Quickoffice Pro is $14.99 and Quickoffice Pro HD is $19.99. The Connect service for file storage and sharing across multiple devices is free at a basic level, with yearly subscription rates for premium and professional versions.
OlivePhone’s Olive Office Premium does a similar job of supporting Microsoft Office documents on Android, but is an app free of charge. It handles Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus files saved in PDF format. It supports rich text, tables, images, and charts.
Store and Retrieve
Several document management apps take advantage of recent advancements in cloud technology, where files are stored and retrieved from standard cloud services, and users enjoy an interface similar to a computer desktop. “Today, it’s typical to find users who own a PC, iPad, and Android smartphone, and have a Google Docs and Dropbox account. This type of heterogeneous mobile and cloud user is expected to grow further over the coming years,” shares Fiddes.
Smart Office 2 by Picsel, for example, works through a contextual interface, and includes drag and drop editing in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is ideal for creating, editing, and sharing Microsoft Office and other documents on the go. “The app allows professionals to edit business documents remotely and share them easily using standard cloud services such as Google Docs and Dropbox,” explains Suhail Rehman, marketing director, Picsel.
Functions include saving office documents in PDF format to a mobile device, or emailing office documents as PDFs from Smart Office. Other features include editing text directly within a document, sending and receiving email attachments, editing shapes in PowerPoint, inserting photos in Word, creating and deleting files in storage, recalculating spreadsheets and updating charts, and zooming to any size.
The new dashboard, document information views, and Print Room UI improve the user experience by providing simple visual feedback. Users print to thousands of wireless printers from 34 manufacturers including Canon U.S.A., Inc., Epson, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Samsung from Smart Office using the Print Room UI, without having to purchase a separate printer app.
Smart Office retails for $9.99 but there is a lite—free—trial version available on BlackBerry App World and Google Play stores. The full app is available on all major platforms including Amazon App Store, Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World, Google Play, HP App Catalog, Nokia Store, and Samsung Apps. Those using multiple mobile devices appreciate its uniformity.
Readdle Inc.’s ReaddleDocs 3 is an all-in-one document viewer and file manager for iPhone and iPad Touch. Users upload and download files from Dropbox, Google Docs, and other cloud services to read saved files from anywhere. The cost is $4.99.
Document Manager is a file manager and reader for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The app uses iTunes file sharing to transfer files directly to mobile devices via a USB cable. Users can access, view, upload, and download documents to Dropbox.
The app’s built-in viewer supports PDF, Microsoft Office, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers files. It allows users to create folders and sub folders, move files from one folder to another, print documents on iOS 4.2 or later, email files to colleagues or friends directly, and zoom PDFs and other documents. The cost is $1.99.
Google recently released a separate Android Google Docs app which shows edits to one’s documents to collaborators in seconds. Users can make quick changes to spreadsheets; view documents, PDFs, and presentations; and upload and convert files to the Google Docs format.
Applications Team Up
Some applications work in tandem with document management systems to which people subscribe. For instance, Synapse Consulting’s DocNodes offers iOS support for KnowledgeTree, Inc.’s Document Management System (DMS). “DocNodes is the only iOS app that works with KnowledgeTree DMS,” explains Wasiq Ashfaq, co-founder/director, DocNodes. “It gives the vast KnowledgeTree community access to documents on the go.”
DocNodes provides a basic built-in document viewer along with the ability to open documents in other supported apps. The app is free for all iOS devices with an optional upgrade that adds the ability to search.