Android App Review: Smart Office 2

Every time someone speaks to me about Android, inevitably, the number 2 question (number 1 is always “is there a TrialPad app?”) is, “what’s the best app for Word documents?” Honestly, I wish someone would ask me about my favorite Android game, because then I could unequivocally tell them, Angry Birds Star Warsor is it Mini Motor Racing? I get so confused.

Regardless, my current favorite app for creating and editing MS Word documents is QuickOffice Suite Pro 6.5 ($14.99). Well, that was until I tried Smart Office 2 by Picsel.

Picsel Intro Screen

At $9.99, this may be the cheapest document editor in Google Play, and is certainly a competitor in the “Office anywhere” category.

The app is decently-designed, though my biggest complaint is the significant amount of empty space on each menu screen.

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In my opinion, the developer could combine many of the screens into a simple, single-menu format. But I don’t know developing, so that might be difficult.

Regardless, the design doesn’t distract from the overall usability of the app. Much like other document editors, Smart Office 2 is easy to use, and can  handle Word processing, Excel spreadsheets (sorry, no pictures), and even PowerPoint.

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There are comments in Google Play indicating people had trouble using the Excel features, but I wasn’t among those who couldn’t create a spreadsheet. I think the trick is to use the menu function, enable the keyboard and replace the default function with a formula.

Smart Office 2 has a great PowerPoint presentation function, which is certainly the feature I liked most. You can access the “presenter” through a direct menu screen, or using the menu button in a PowerPoint presentation.

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I believe Smart Office 2’s is the best presentation app. I liked the display, controls, and features of the app.

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The presentation function is similar to MS Office PowerPoint’s functions, and allows a delicate “touch to change” function, which is not distracting. The app also presents well on a projector or television.

Smart Office 2 has an amusing 3D setting, which allows you to view your document or presentation in 3D.

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I tried to find the 3D glasses that came with our Coraline DVD, but that was futile. Alas, I wasn’t able to test the “coolness” of Getting Started with Smart Office in three dimensions. It probably would have sucked anyway, unless . . . Mrs. The Droid Lawyer wants to get me a new 3D television.

Smart Office 2 allows you to import from Dropbox or Google Docs, and has templates for easy document creation. I didn’t test an import feature to see whether you can add your own templates to the app, since I use Dropbox to integrate between multiple devices.

Some comments in Google Play also mention that this app is slow, which I presume is processing. I didn’t notice any significant slow downs, though I found some hesitation when loading some files. Any slowing wasn’t significant enough to cause me not to recommend this program. Also, if you’re trying to use this on a smartphone, don’t. I found this app almost unusable. There’s at least enough frustration involved to make you want to consider something else. Great for reviewing documents, not so great for creating documents on a smaller screen.

Overall, Smart Office is a great program that matches well with the other, higher-priced MS Office-wannabe apps. If you’re looking for a solution that is fairly less-costly, Smart Office is for you. I give this app 3.5 of 5 stars. I give the presentation function 5 of 5 stars. I’d give Mrs. The Droid Lawyer 10 of 5 stars for a new 3D tv.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.