Docs To Go will be familiar to BlackBerry users as the office suite found on smartphones and the Playbook tablet. RIM now owns the company behind it, and has started rolling out versions for other platforms including Android and iOS.
The mobile suite is the closest thing we’ve found to a complete office productivity package. On the Android version you need to log in to your Google Docs account once Docs To Go is installed and can then view and edit items stored there or in your email. These are listed alphabetically by default, by it’s a singleclick to change this to view by most recently edited. The spreadsheet we tried opened fine with formatting preserved (which we can’t say of our Mac). Clicking on a cell followed by the options menu at the bottom brought up options for insert function, rows, autosum or a cell comment.
New documents can also be composed, though composition options here are limited and saving is only to Office 2004 versions. It’s easy enough to select a specific cell to enter data in Sheet To Go, but you then need to manually bring up the menu list and choose an option before the onscreen keyboard first appears.
You can also open documents stored on an SD card inserted into the tablet. Documents are saved to either SD card or Google Docs. Both Google Docs and Docs To Go were caught out by our having attached more than one document to an email we sent to our Gmail account, though.
We were also surprised to find that nothing appeared in our recently viewed folder even after we’d viewed, composed and edited several items. Viewing text documents is a plain vanilla experience, with text filling the full width of the screen and displayed rather small by default. You can pinch to zoom in, but the copy doesn’t reflow.
The iPad version costs £6.99 for the Docs To Go Office Suite, while a Premium version costs £11.99. Both open, view and let you edit Word and Excel documents or other third-party word processing and spreadsheet documents (under the guise of Sheet To Go and Word To Go) and offer an accompanying desktop app with which it synchronises. The Premium version adds Slideshow To Go and Cloud synchronisation.
More than anything, Docs To Go highlights the poor provision for mobile office users on tablets. It’s simple enough to use and covers basic viewing and editing tasks without complaint, but it’s rather unsophisticated given its price and not without faults.