Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
iPhone Integration [rating:4]
User Interface [rating:3]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:5]
Many attempts have been made to capitalize on man's quest for MS Office on a smart phone. While Plus is only compatible with MS Excel, and then only in the XML Spreadsheet 2003 format, it does at least partially satisfy that quest. It gives iPhone users a capable spreadsheet app that can import from and export to a format Excel can accept and can also e-mail individual worksheets in comma delimited format.
Plus is a spreadsheet with most of the features normally expected from such an app, including the ability to create, import, and export multi-worksheet workbooks. It supports formulas and has over seventy functions, is compatible with MS Excel, and supports landscape and portrait views. A free file sharing app for OS X and Windows can be downloaded from the author's web site and allows you to easily import and export spreadsheet files.
Plus does have a few rough edges with its user interface. When you create a new workbook or worksheet, for instance, if you don't tap Open after naming it then it still is created but is named Untitled. Another oddity is that although it makes help available from within the app, the manual is actually online, which means iPod Touch users who aren't always connected are out of luck.
The online help, while good, is far from perfect. It does a decent job of telling you how to use the separate Sharem app, for example, which can be downloaded from the author's web site, but doesn't give you step by step instructions. In the end you're left struggling to get it to work on your own. None of these things end up making Plus unusable, but a more consistent user experience and a little more support from the developer would be welcome.
In the end Plus is definitely a worthwhile app. The Sharem application worked flawlessly under Windows Vista, and I was able to easily transfer Excel spreadsheets back and forth and edit and open them on both the PC and my iPod Touch. The screen, while small, works great, and you can use multi-touch gestures to zoom in and out, as well as orient the device in landscape mode. The question then is really not whether Plus is worth its asking price, but rather will its limited support of Excel's XML file format be enough for you? If you need full MS Office compatibility, this will disappoint.