Polaris Office is a universal iOS app that supports the viewing and editing of Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Excel files. If mobile editing of MS Office documents is something you desire, look no further. The Polaris Office app is the full-package option for business professionals, students, and people on the go. Having tested several other MS Office alternatives, I am highly impressed with Polaris Office.
Most importantly, Polaris Office is a universal app. As the number of iPads continue to grow, the desire for universal apps is also increasing. Paying one flat price for all iDevice access is paramount in customer satisfaction.
Opening Polaris Office, the user is prompted to view loaded .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx., .pdf, and .txt files, which will further be referred to generically as “documents.” The interface is clean and user friendly with simple controls and intuitive design. It is a much better user experience than other MS Office alternatives such as CloudOn and OnLive Desktop, both of which are cloud-based interactive systems. The major difference in these competitors is Polaris is all local operation. It is not a virtual system that is running on another server; consequently, the controls and interaction are much more fluid and do not require an internet connection.
There are three ways to populate Polaris with documents, the first of which is to create them. The app will create all of the aforementioned file types except .PDFs, which may only be viewed. Second, Polaris will connect to Google Docs, Box, WebDAV, or Dropbox cloud storage systems. Once connected, files can easily be downloaded or uploaded to either cloud service. Third, Polaris integrates with the native Mail app. When opening a document from Mail, Polaris becomes an option for viewing and – subsequently – editing.
Impressively, Polaris will open Word files and display them exactly the way Microsoft Word displays the document. In addition to viewing proper formatting, many editing options are available. While creating documents, 15 built-in templates are offered. When editing, 18 various charts are insertable, along with: over 300 Excel functions/formulas; 80 shape varieties; print view settings; text styles; formatting copy (amazing); find-replace; and thumbnail page-views.
For a mobile platform, Polaris Office is an amazing tool and for both general and power users, it will fill a market void. Knowing I do not have the space to fully explain the full breadth and functionality of this application, please do yourself a favor and watch some of Infraware’s tutorial videos. For a complete list of functions, take a look at the user guide (download).
Conclusion [rating: 4.5/5]
Let me boil this all down to a simple reduced statement: buy Polaris Office and buy it now ($9.99, App Store). It is currently 50% off for their launch sale. Shortly the app will increase in price to $19.99. Again, I stress the importance of its Universal status, giving you document viewing and editing on all of your iDevices.
The app is still being updated and just received Dropbox integration over the weekend, proving the Infraware’s commitment to continuously improving the app. I was a little frustrated that scrolling throughout documents was a little slow, but I can handle it considering all of the functionality. If you have been on a relentless quest for an excellent Microsoft Office replacement for iOS, this is the ticket.
- Complete font, style, heading, chart, and shape control
- Cloud access for several sources – upload and download
- Universal for both iPHone and iPad
- Local computing instead of a virtual machine
- pad mail attachments directly into Polaris Office
- Scrolling through documents is fairly choppy
- Future price increases
- No PDF editing