The best office apps for Android

The days of taking care of business exclusively in an office are over. You’ve got a powerful productivity gadget in your pocket practically 24/7, after all — and with the right set of apps, you can stay synced with the same spreadsheets, documents, and presentations that are on your desktop and work with them seamlessly from anywhere.

Best of all? Achieving that level of connectivity on Android no longer requires a compromise. It’s been a long time coming, but the bar has really been raised when it comes to office app quality in the Google Play Store over the past few years. The question now isn’t if you can find a worthwhile set of office apps for your phone but rather which set of commendable offerings makes the most sense for you.

I’ve spent time testing all the relevant contenders, ranging from the small-name efforts that used to dominate my recommendations to the big-name products from the more well-known productivity players. Focusing on factors such as feature availability, ease of use, ecosystem integration, and overall user experience, these are the best office apps on Android today.

Looking for email apps? See my roundup of the best email and texting apps for Android.

The best fully featured Android office apps

Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Microsoft was embarrassingly late to the Android app party, but since the company started taking the world’s most popular operating system seriously, its Android productivity services have been among the best around.

That remains true today with its core Office offerings: Word, for word processing; Excel, for spreadsheet editing; and PowerPoint, for presentation work. If you’re used to using the equivalent Microsoft 365/Office 365 products on the desktop — or if you just need fully featured mobile office apps with all the bells and whistles — Microsoft’s trio of Android apps is going to be your best all-around option for on-the-go productivity. And if you’re planning to use all three, you can now even download them in a space-saving and easier-to-manage all-in-one Android Office bundle.

Perhaps the greatest strength of Microsoft’s Android apps is their effortless cross-platform compatibility and consistency: First, as you’d expect, all three apps handle standard Office file formats flawlessly and with pristine formatting fidelity. And beyond that, if you’re already using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in any other setting, you’ll have essentially no learning curve with the matching Android versions; the apps’ interfaces and interaction styles will be immediately familiar and easy to master.

Word, for instance, starts off with a small, scrollable toolbar — a sized-down version of the Office Ribbon. It’s a smart way to conserve space and allow you to have a large working area (especially when a virtual keyboard is present and taking up a significant portion of your screen).

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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