Last updated April 20th, 2010 (Version 3.2.1)
Size: 2.9 MB - Price: $7.99
Developer: Byte Squared Ltd.
In my continuing search for the perfect app for writing, here's my review of Office2 HD...
Enables a user to view, create and edit Word (DOC) and Excel (XLS) files on the iPad. I didn't test the spreadsheet part of the app at all, so all comments below relate only to the writing-related features.
What I liked:
- Unlike the other apps I've reviewed so far, Office2 HD lets you store documents in hierarchical folders (yay!)
- Lots of formatting options, including bold, italics, underline, paragraph indentation. You can insert pictures, tables, bullets and numbering.
- There is an Undo and Redo option (though you have to scroll to the end of the options bar to get at them, reducing their convenience).
- Great customer support. Each feature/bug I reported got a quick response from the developer.
- Integration with other services like Google Docs, MobileMe, Box.net, and more.
What I didn't like:
- Not as intuitive an interface as some of the other apps I've reviewed. To rename a file, for example: Instead of just tapping on a filename and typing the new name, you have to: (1) Tap on the "greater than" sign to the right of the filename, tap on the "greater than" sign again to bypass the "e-mail file" option, type the new name, click "Done", then click "Save."
- I couldn't get any keyboard shortcuts involving arrow keys to work. This is a deal-breaker for me since I'm starting to use the Bluetooth keyboard a lot with my iPad, and find that I can type and edit much more easily if I can keep my hands on the wireless keyboard most of the time.
- No way to set a default font and font size. The default is always Helvetica 12 point. If I prefer another font and/or font size, I always need to manually set it before starting a new document, or do a "Select All" and change for an existing document.
- When I imported an MS-Word document (which I could read fine in MS-Word) from one of my critique partners, the app turned everything black (and unreadable). Turns out that the problem was a few lines of red text. However, I imported other docs with coloured text as well as creating docs within the app with coloured text, and there was no problem. I eventually got around the all-black document by changing the red text to regular black, then importing again. I haven't been able to recreate the problem since, so this might just have a problem with the one document.
Good writing app for those who need the formatting options and again, I -loved- being able to store my documents in different folders. If the user interface was streamlined and keyboard shortcuts added, I'd be using this app much more often.