Google announced today that is has acquired Quickoffice, a company that specializes in office suites for mobile OS-es. Quickoffice is currently offering apps for Android, iOS, and Symbian, and like most office suites, is far from free. In Android’s case, there are even two versions of the app: one for phones, one for tablets. The statement from Google hints at Quickoffice becoming a Google app, though, so we might very well see the next version of Android coming with some sort of Google Office app included for free. Google doesn’t normally charge for apps, after all.
Where this will leave the current Quickoffice for Android, not to mention the versions of other OS-es, is unknown. Google promised to support the user base “while [they] work on an even more seamless, intuitive and integrated experience,” which doesn’t exactly say what will happen once that is done. We could of course be looking at a free multi-platform app here, but I have a feeling that Google is intending for this to be an Android thing.
It’s a needed addition to Android too, if it does end up becoming an included, free app. iOS has support for viewing most office formats out of the box, with editing possible from both third party apps and Apple’s paid trio of office apps: Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. On Android, however, we normally see some sort of trial version or similar of office apps being put on devices by manufacturers to fill the office gap, so I’d say that Google has found the right hole in its software to start plugging here – again assuming that’s what’s going to happen.
Android isn’t exactly the go-to OS for business right now either, so perhaps this can even help that change. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, as there are a lot of things that have to change for Android to be as business friendly as iOS. I also have a feeling that the release of Microsoft Office for iOS and Android later this year will be a bigger deal than this from a business point of view, but then again Microsoft’s mobile app record isn’t very impressive.[Google via Google+Reader” target=”_blank”>Droid-life]