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Last Updated: October 27th, 2011

I don't usually post Amazon Appstore apps outside of our social media accounts, but today I felt compelled. There are a few options when it comes to office replacement apps that can read and write all your docs, presentations, and spreadsheets - most of them costing over $10. I've been eyeing OfficeSuite for a while, but never really bothered to try it out.

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Well, I just did because OfficeSuite Pro 5 is free at the Amazon Appstore today, and after playing with it, I have to say it's the best office app for Android I've tried so far (at least based on my first impressions). The UI is polished and functional, Google Docs connectivity works as advertised, and it was able to read a file no other office app was able to read so far (damn you, program that sends me nightly reports!). Oh yeah, and it works on tablets too (see below).

Update: We reach out to MobiSystems to inquire about the SMS permission (we already knew the Accounts permission was needed to gain access to Google Docs), and she had this to say (as expected - there was no hidden agenda here):

Artem,

Thanks for the post!

We need the permissions for SMS/MMS (I guess this is the group that users are not happy about) because these are in the same group as the access to the Google account and OfficeSuite has the feature to allow access to Google Docs. Otherwise there is no way to support access to remote files.

Best regards,

Elitza Bratkova

Head of Business Development

MobiSystems

http://mobisystems.com

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OfficeSuite Pro's regular price is $14.99 (and it's rated 4.1 stars in the Android Market), so you really have no excuse to pass on this deal today, so long as you live in the U.S. - otherwise use a workaround to get the Appstore to work for you outside the U.S. (Google around for solutions).

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Source: Amazon Appstore

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • John

    Amazon AppStore still closed in UK.

    • thierry

      They said in the article you have to work around to get it outside the US. It's not easy but I do it to save 15 USD!

  • cowgaR

    could you PLEASE stop recommending spyware&malware for users to install? Are you getting any money for this?

    I generally like AP, but it's going down hill lately, what was that virus recommendation from last time? (magiclocker main)

    any properly written application doesn't require half the permissions this office suit does, and one tenth of permission virus (magiclocker) did.

    Please, stop recommending users to install crap, or what will be your next move? Recommending wallpapers that require to read/sent sms and call premium numbers when there's virtually zero permissions needed? (apart from setting wall)

    get a clue, ban this kind of appz on your device

    • http://None Freshly_snipes

      U mad? I'm sure you're not doing ANYTHING that important that spying on you would justify a plea of espionage. It's an office application that communicates with a lot of other apps and servers bro. Chill.

      • cowgaR

        are you serious? Mobile phone is the most sensitive device you own, hopefuly I don't need to write why...

        just click on the permissions tab of this one http://bit.ly/tboO7u and if you're not wondering, you probably don't care about your contacts/sms/passwords/mails/pictures/videos&more that you own...

        also, this office suit simply requires too many permissions (account management/sms reading anyone?) and I don't care they need it for debugging/error reports, you barely know what is sent on the wire once you're conected to internet 24/7 and have granted full internet access to this app in your FW

        P.S. take a look on ES file manager (no I'm not affiliated), low-level app and nice-clean permissions, and then on some competition how it shouldn't be done (SKYPE, anyone?)

        • cowgaR

          obviously SKYPE is not ES file manager competition, but a prime example of an app that know everything about you, so that a Microsoft-Skype cloud can be created for nicer future...
          http://bit.ly/jhdCms

          there simply isn't need for that, but millions of users are great market to ignore, and facebook isn't only company that is getting payed for it...

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Again, another conspiracy theory and flashy words. What does Skype or MS have to do with the company in question here? Absolutely nothing. Is there proof MS+Skype are conspiring to steal your data or infect your phone with malware?

        • ocdtrekkie

          That's an extremely alarmist view. In the case of reputable publishers such as Skype, Microsoft, Adobe, it's pretty childish when people go on a rant about extra permissions.

          Be suspicious when installing apps from companies you've never heard of, but Skype has better things to do then look at your data, which I'm sure is worth so much more than the credit card you and/or others gave them for buying Skype credit. ;)

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Those are some accusations - spyware and malware. This is a reputable app (http://www.mobisystems.com/android_office/full-features.html) - most of the time permissions in reputable apps have either a good reason to be there or are an oversight by developers. Did you even look into what the app does? User accounts are used for connecting to Google Docs without entering your password. I don't know what SMS perms are used for in this case, and you have every right to be suspicious, but calling every app that has permissions you can't immediately explain malware and spyware is too much. And to answer your question, nobody paid us anything.

      MagicLocker indeed uses a lot of permissions, but again there's no proof of it being spyware - you're welcome to exercise caution and not download it, but stop trolling and spewing conspiracy theories without any proof. Be prepared to back it up if you accuse.

    • Mgamerz

      You obviously don't know how a operating system works. Get a privacy guard, doofus.

  • KamikaZee

    While permission awareness is a good thing, some people take it too far.
    Magicklocker is a good example, it needs sms/mms/phone/contacs permissions because it displays unread counts for those items on some lockscreens.
    The internet permission is weird, but it's just an example that a lot of times those permissions are actually needed for the core functionality of the app.
    Hence why I'd like that every dev explains the permissions in his app :o

    Edit: Oh hey, that's actually what magicklocker does >.>

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Probably ads?

      • cowgaR

        it's just displaying sms counter, you don't need all that permissions in the first place...what about contacts reading einstein?

        permission awarness? is virtualy zero in android market, otherwise this wouldn't be so highly rated:

        WidgetLocker Lockscreen
        http://bit.ly/rxzcRx

        oooo...conspiracy theory troll, yeah, I know...

        READ SENSITIVE LOG DATA
        Allows an application to read from the system's various log files. This allows it to discover general information about what you are doing with the device, potentially including personal or private information.

        DIRECTLY CALL PHONE NUMBERS
        Allows the application to call phone numbers without your intervention. Malicious applications may cause unexpected calls on your phone bill. Note that this does not allow the application to call emergency numbers.

        btw, app doesn't need to do anything dangerous up until 2nd update and simply you'll never know...
        elevated permissions on-install will grant it smooth auto-update, whereas any new permissions added later would pop-up warnings...

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          As an app developer, I can tell you that READ_SENSITIVE_LOG_DATA is used to report bugs that include application log data back in case of crashes and is used by such tools as ACRA http://code.google.com/p/acra/.

          Reading the description of the app, DIRECTLY_CALL_PHONE_NUMBERS is clearly used for "- Slider Actions can be customized, for example Slide-to-launch-Camera or Slide-to-call-your-Girlfriend."

          Anyway, I realize there are always inherent issues with trusting apps, but at some point you have to trust them or else you wouldn't be able to download 95% of all apps. Anything that uses Internet can send data back - just because it uses permissions that aren't suspicious for that app doesn't mean it's not going to be malicious either.

          Anyway, I'm done arguing - it's time to get some sleep.

        • Mgamerz
      • Freak4Dell

        You should just ban this troll.

  • casen brashear

    I installed this at 0330 then put my phone in my pocket. By 0600, my battery was down to 50%. I never even opened the app, but where's my Droid power identified it as the highest power drawing app.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Hrm, maybe it's a bug - I installed sometime after midnight 4 hours ago and it's not listed in my battery apps at all, meaning it's not abusing battery.

  • Jim

    Artem, love your reddit image references from time to time ;)

  • Wam31

    That's great !

    Except that after having to sign in Amazon, download the app, re login, being redirected to the website to fill in a fake adress, etc... it appears that you HAVE TO give your credit card number to get a FREE APP !
    Well, I now get why they call it AppStore...

    Could someone nice upload the APK ? or is it "forbidden" somehow ?

    • Nick

      Yeah for some reasons, it insists on having a payment method for this app although I set up an account long time ago and it never bothered me again for the 25+ apps I got from their market. what's the deal yo?

      • Freak4Dell

        It asked me for that, too, but I hit back, then clicked on the app again and it worked that time.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      They use the credit card as an additional verification method of your whereabouts.

    • http://www.joedonofry.com Joseph Donofry

      That's because Amazon's AppStore uses their One-Click ordering system, which requires a credit-card / debit-card on file. It's not really a great thing, but there's actually a reason for it.

  • Drewskeetz

    Why does this App need a payment method compared to every other free app on the Amazon AppStore which does not require this??

    • Wam31

      Don't know, never bought or downloaded anything in Amazon Store before.
      If you usually don't have to, maybe it's because it's a exceptional/temporary free app...

    • GigiAUT

      Relax, it's Amazon. They've never shafted anyone like that. They say clearly on the site that you need to enter in a Payment method in case your purchases exceed your redeem code or something.

      • Tony

        Back a few months ago, they had Seekdroid up for free, but it charged you $0.99 when you 'purchased' it. They responded by giving everyone who got charged a $5 credit to the app store. I'd say that Amazon really did NOT want to shaft someone.

  • BigDaddyJ

    Just talked to Amazon CS and was told they are having some "issues" with checkout on both the main site and appstore.

  • GigiAUT

    What happened with the Amazon AppStore? I thought they had rolled out globally yet for this particular App it refuses to let me download it from outside the US.

    And I had set up my 1-Click payment method, now it's asking me to set up again out of the blue? Did I miss something?

    :(

    • Zomby2D

      There was a bug (or a test) that allowed people outside of the US to get apps from the Appstore for a couple of days a while back but they closed that door pretty fast. I managed to get one free app before I was told again that it was not available in my country. (And not even a very good game)

  • Dward

    Same issue here. I've been happily installing apps every day until now. You have to set-up a card initially to get the one-click purchasing ordered (required to use the appstore). Just hit amazon.com and it has deleted my (admittedly false) US credit card. When I try to add another it says 'we encountered a system error during your request'. Hmm... Not sure it's the app playing-up. Think it's the store!

    • GigiAUT

      It is the store because I went to the site on my PC and everything is gone. It's asking me to set up a card again but I didn't put in a fake one last time.

      Maybe they checked who was actually really buying apps and threw out the one's that kept getting just the free apps?

  • Wam31

    It works !
    And without a Credit card !
    Apparently, it was just a glitch...

    • Wam31

      Oops, maybe not...
      After some checking, It appears that one of the many tries to add a fake credit card and ID from fakenamegenerator.com finally worked... so I don't really know it would work without... sorry ! ;-)

  • GigiAUT

    I just checked my 1-Click settings again. It kept asking me to put them in again and I refused. Now I've gone back to the site to look at my account and everything is still there, including my card number. Wtf?

    And the message I keep getting when trying to buy apps that are always free:

    "We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

    Definitely a glitch in the system because those apps are available to me through the market.

  • Dward

    EDIT: fixed! Store glitch getting card info. Added another card and it restored my existing one. Should be OK for everyone now, I think. App downloaded fine. For those out of the loop, here's how I get access from outside the US :-) http://android.modaco.com/topic/336184-using-the-amazon-appstore-from-outside-the-us-including-paid-apps/

    • Wam31

      I personally had no problem with not being inside the US.

  • Denbo

    Downloaded it and tried it out. For free it is great but it would not connect to my Google docs account. It could see the files just fine but when I clicked to open one up it would fail.

    Also I received a number of java.io exceptions when editing a powerpoint file (it had created the file). It was also not too easy to use.

    I am not knocking it but just pointing out some of the issues I had. For free it can't be beat but I would have been upset to pay $15 for this.

  • http://www.psycho.ziggy471.com Jerry Lange

    I believe that google has to evaluate there permissions. It says it requires one thing, but really it is trying to access only a certian thing in that type of permission.

  • ocdtrekkie

    I'd much rather have permissions on the phone to connect to my Google account then having to do what QuickOffice does, which requires I give QuickOffice my Google login info. (Or an application-specific password in my case)

  • Digitos

    I'm consistently getting an error message when I try to open a 3.1mb xls file saying "memory full. " I've tried moving the app to my sd card but it makes no difference. I have over 2gb of free memory on the phone and 19gb of free memory on the sd card. Also tried flushing the app's cache in app settings. I sent 2 emails to Mobi System's customer service department but they just blew me off saying my phone was out of memory. I can open the problem file with other apps but not this one. Any suggestions?

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