OfficeSuite Version 5.00 from MobiSystems was installed in a Nokia E 71, an S60 3rd edition, FP 1 device.
Installation is via the PC Suite installer. Its quick and easy.
OfficeSuite 5 is the latest version of OfficeSuite that supports Microsoft Office 2007.
Unlike other reviews where I go through every option and discuss their pros and cons I will only discuss the usability aspects of the Word Editor. I assume that all of us have used desktop word processors, specifically Microsoft Word and would want to know how close OfficeSuite is to Microsoft Word and how comfortable it is to use it. Ofcourse the big question is ‘Can it replace Word?’
In order to make a fair assessment I typed this review of about 700 words using OfficeSuite on my Nokia E71.
The Word Editor is pretty feature rich and mirrors almost many options of a desktop word processor like Microsoft Word. The key factors which I would consider necessary for productive use of OfficeSuite on the mobile device are given below. I believe that having these features will make us forget that we are using a mobile device and not be distracted by it, while typing the document.
Word completion, spell check, etc
An important usability factor for a Word Editor on a mobile device is the word complete feature. OfficeSuite has a pretty good word completion feature, which fetches words from the dictionary.
The dictionary is pretty extensive and carries almost all commonly used words used in everyday life. It learns every new word written on other applications outside OfficeSuite, like Active Notes, and suggests them appropriately. But as I type the word I found that OfficeSuite was too quick to suggest words even after typing the first letter. This was quite irritating. But fortunately the spell check options allows you to specify the number of letters after which the autocomplete should start. I changed it to 3 letters and felt more comfortable. The other thing you have to remember is that the spell checker auto-completes words as you type and you’d be baffled that the word appearing on the screen is completely different from what you wanted to type, even before you complete typing the word. In such cases, continue typing and just ignore the word on the screen. When you have finished typing, the right word will appear on the screen.
Pressing the up key in the D-Pad will give a list of suggested words as a pop up. Overall I am happy with the auto complete but it could do with some refinement.
Easy Navigation – Scrolling up and Down, bookmarks
To my dismay, there is no scroll option using which I can move down 1 page at a time. Moving up or down one line at a time is a major negative. Atleast there is an option to go to the top or bottom of the page. I can also create bookmarks, but its not a great substitute for scrolling, which is quite a heavily used feature in the desktop Word application.
Key board shortcuts
Almost all keyboard shortcuts are supported by OfficeSuite and that’s expected, given there is no mouse. Its a great timesaver and operations get done faster with them.
Search and replace
Search and replace, Find next, etc are well implemented and easy to use. I actually used Ctrl-F quite often.
Preserve formatting when its moved to the desktop
The minimal formatting that is supported is preserved when the document is moved to the desktop.
I transferred a few files from my desktop to the phone. OfficeSuite displays them quite well. I was quite impressed with Powerpoint. Its great to view a large slidepack on the mobile.
Navigation around OfficeSuite is quite simple. There is a bevy of options for editing and file management. Document protection is also supported.
I use the keyboard shortcuts to access menus. Microsoft Word highlights one character of a menu that can be typed to invoke an option – e.g. Alt+F+S will save the document. That should have been implemented for the Options – e.g. Options+W will give the word count.
I also missed the option to jump one word at a time, e.g. Using Ctrl+right arrow. Moving one letter at a time is also a major negative.
Scroll lock and scrolling up/down must be supported.
Though the website says that Powerpoint is supported, with the trial version I had on my mobile, I could neither create Powerpoint slides nor view one.
While OfficeSuite supports Word, Powerpoint and Excel, I have reviewed only the Word Editor. This is because I am of the opinion that it will be the most used application of OfficeSuite. Excel is just not suitable to use on a mobile device. Powerpoint slides can be viewed on the mobile but to create a good presentation, a large screen and a mouse are required to get the design and formatting right. One must be very comfortable using the Word editor with keyboard shortcuts. Saving the file, highlighting text and overwriting them, cut and paste, etc works very well on OfficeSuite but can be done only with the keyboard. I resisted even using the Options since that hampered my speed. I preferred to do the majority of formatting of the document in the desktop. One cannot use OfficeSuite effectively on a mobile with a normal keyboard. The usability is severely diminished.
I also had to review my document again on the desktop and make a few corrections, which are hard to catch, on a small device.
Verdict: Mobile word processors are not yet ready to replace their desktop counterparts. But the fact that I was able to comfortably write a 700 word review is a testimony to how polished and mature OfficeSuite is. I tried to use the spreadsheet but it was extremely difficult to navigate and use it. Spreadsheets are best left to the desktop as of today.
OfficeSuite is a great mobile word processor and is a perfect companion when you want to type letters and blogs while on the go. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has a full qwerty mobile device.
With a 30 day trial for Editing and unlimited access to View files, OfficeSuite is available here. I will give it 4 of 5.