Mobile office giant Quickoffice has released a number of updates for its software programs, including a custom-built application designed specifically for Android’s tablet operating system, code-named “Honeycomb.” The new app will ship on Motorola Xoom devices, and will be upgradable to a full version for a fee.
The Google Honeycomb version of this popular office program takes advantage of native Android features, including contextual search, voice-to-text and text-to-voice as well as design interface elements, like fragments. But what might be the most amazing part about the launch of the Honeycomb edition of Quickoffice is how fast the app was built – in only 2 months.
For those unfamiliar with Quickoffice, it’s the company whose mobile office suite is installed on around 350 million devices, including around 80% of Android phones. It will also come pre-installed on devices running HP’s new webOS operating system and is preinstalled on all Symbian devices, too. On iOS devices, the software is available as a downloadable application.
Building the Honeycomb Version
To roll out its Honeycomb app this quickly, Quickoffice actually had to sent its developers straight to Google’s headquarters where they worked on the new app during the months of January and February.
Today, I had a chance to see the Android tablet version called Quickoffice Pro HD in action, running on the Motorola Xoom tablet. The first thing you notice about the Honeycomb edition is how it takes advantage of the new Android 3.0 user interface design feature called “fragments.” What this allows for is having different panes of content on the main screen of the app, where each panel can operate independently from one another. For example, the pane on the left side lets you scroll through your cloud-based storage account lists (Google Docs, Dropbox, Sugarsync, Huddle, Local storage etc.), while another pane lets you scroll through lists of files.
Using Honeycomb’s Action Bar at the top of the top of the screen, you can perform actions within a file like searching a string of text you highlighted, having the document read back to you via a computerized voice or inputing text into the document using Android’s voice recognition capabilities. As you perform different actions, the Action Bar updates accordingly, offering you specific functions based on what you’re currently doing in the program.
Quickoffice will come pre-installed on Xoom tablets and will arrive in the Android Market for other Honeycomb tablet users to download sometime in the next couple of weeks.
A new version of its Android application for smartphones is also arriving now (either today or tomorrow). This update includes file editing capabilities, faster file loading, scrolling, zooming, contextual search, text-to-speech, insert images and creation of PowerPoint presentations.
On Friday, the company announced an update to the iPad app that includes integration with social sharing platforms, like SlideShare, Docstoc and Scribd, plus AirPrint support. This app is available for download from iTunes.