If all you knew was that Office Depot sold a home version of Microsoft Office that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for $99 – $119, what would you expect to pay for an iPad version? On the other hand, do you really need everything that is in Microsoft office, smart graphics, templates, document publishing; or do you just need to write letters, create a resume, add up some numbers, do a basic point by point demonstration?
Most people only use 10% or less of the capabilities in Microsoft Office. And that is where the iPad apps shine. If you are a heavy Office user and use smart graphics, the database and other advanced features of Office then the iPad is not for you unless you want to use it for remote access to your PC. For everyone else, the iPad makes a great laptop replacement for writing your letters, and doing some math and charts, or doing a sales presentation.
So let’s look at the apps available:
iWorks – Pages, Numbers, and Keynote
The hands down best Office apps for the iPad are the iWorks apps from Apple. Unlike the competitors their apps are sold individually for $9.99 each. Pages for Word documents, Numbers for Excel spreadsheets, and Keynote for Powerpoint presentations.
These apps use the iPad interface with its drop down menus and the iPad look and feel. Users claim it is the easiest thing to use far easier than Microsoft Office. Even storing documents uses iPad folders. Also they support more office features than other products and saving documents in Word format and loading them back in works very well.
Quickoffice Pro HD
This app is close to iWorks and includes some things, like a PDF reader, and support for saving documents on the cloud to services such as Google Docs and all for only $19.99. Very good Word 97 – 2010 document support which is being expanded with each release. Support for Excel formats 97 – 2010, in cell formatting, and more. Powerpoint is also supported by this suite. Microsoft Office compatibility is their main focus and they are adding features and a better user interface as time goes on. This is a great second choice to iWorks.
This app suite supports Word, Excel, Powerpoint, a PDF reader, and cloud document storage for $16.99 for the Premium edition. They also support iWorks documents. This app is geared for you to enter your basic information, do a little formatting and then load the document into Word, Excel, Powerpoint to finish.
Office2 HD includes all 3 Wordprocessing, Spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations into a single package for $7.99. Supports Word 2003-2010, Excel xls files, Powerpoint ppt files. The Sheet2 app does have some limitations for instance it does not support any Excel file formats other than xls, and it does not do graphs, nor does it have a filter function.
Most of the work has gone into the Wordprocessing and Powerpoint parts of the Office app. Some people prefer it due to price, because it does what they need.
Below are links to several current reviews of Office apps for the iPad.
PcWorld Office Suites For iPad
Small Business Computing The 4 Best Mobile Office iPad Apps