- Editor's Rating
Quickoffice eOffice 4.6 for BlackBerry is intended to be the next best thing to Microsoft Office on your smartphone.
And it doesn’t just want to be a mobile office suite. It provides a file management system and even interfaces with several online hosts (Google Docs, virtual drives) in hopes that it will be your mobile productivity app.
Unfortunately it doesn’t do a single one of its features well and the entire experience can be summed up in one word: frustrating.
Overview and User Interface
The initial eOffice application selection menu is very smooth. It’s responsive, looks good, and is well thought out. Intuitive icons are assigned to files based on file type, and navigation is smooth.
The impressive user interface is not pervasive, though. Submenus and option boxes are awkward and sloppy. Submenus are launched unexpectedly and often contain text wider than the windows. The ‘cancel’ button was also displaced off the screen and was impossible to click. Pasting information into menus (such as an email address) is impossible.
The biggest UI disappointment is that menus have multiple focus points, making simple tasks like scrolling through a list of items and then selecting one incredibly difficult.
Reading and Creating Documents
The worst part of eOffice 4.6 is the save-file dialog. Entering a new filename is next to impossible and eOffice seems to want the user to overwrite an existing file instead.
Another massive failure is the inability to read or create Microsoft PowerPoint files out-of-the-box. It instead wants you to find a computer and use the desktop software to convert the file.
eWord for BlackBerry can’t open or create .docx files, so off the bat this app is already outdated. Otherwise, it’s tolerable. The default viewing mode allows editing, and there are sensible document options including the ability to insert a picture, though you can’t insert unsaved pictures from the camera.
eCell for BlackBerry’s layout includes a function bar, three tabs for different sheets, and row and column headings. The poorly laid-out option window made for difficulty using the functions; it was next to impossible to scroll through the function choices, and equally difficult to enter the arguments.
eCell offers the useful ability to create a chart directly in the app. You get most of the type options as Excel and graphs are created in a new tab. The setup is a little confusing but it actually does a pretty nice job.
The PDF capabilities are the best I’ve seen in a mobile suite. A small overlaid icon allows for easy navigation to a specific section of the document.
eMailing, Printing, and Fax
eOffice 4.6 gives the user several nice options of sending out their work. As with everything else in the suite, they don’t always work well.
Emailing was the most reliable and most confusing method of sending out work. eOffice 4.6 implements a confusing proprietary mailing window that involves guessing which contact you’ve selected, rather than integrating into the native client. After selecting your contact(s), the program sends several confirmation emails to you.
If you have multiple addresses on your device you have to chose a default address and can’t change it from the mail menu. eCell files inexplicably send without charts.
The faxing process was fairly straight forward: Enter a fax number and recipient and the fax is sent. Both machines I tried faxing two received the fax-call but didn’t receive the actual fax.
eOffice allows for printing to a network or Bluetooth-enabled printer. Not having either I was unable to test this feature. Judging by the rest of the suite however I wouldn’t hold too much hope.
Quickoffice eOffice 4.6 for BlackBerry offers a litany of features but fails to execute any of them well. I would have preferred to see eOffice deliver strong performance over a limited set of functions mobile users would want, rather than trying to create a scaled down office suite.
This app regularly sells for $29.99, but is temporarily available at half price.
- Integration with Google Docs, Virtual drives
- Fax and printing capabilities
- Attractive price
- Limited .docx support
- Unusable submenus/options windows
- No features worked as expected