Developer: Infraware Co., Ltd
Price: $4.99 (normally $19.99)
Version: 4.1.6
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini

iOS IntegrationRating: ★★★★☆
User InterfaceRating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

polaris 3There are a few Microsoft Office alternatives available on iOS, but the choices are quite limited and most are disappointing. While Polaris Office isn’t a way to actually run MS Office on iOS, it does provide one of the better alternatives to edit MS Office documents on mobile device—making it perfect for businesses, people on the go and students.

Polaris Office supports editing and viewing of .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx and .txt and provides viewing support for .pdf and .hwp. The universal app makes it easy to edit and view Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point Files in a matter of seconds thanks to its intuitive and user friendly interface.

When Polaris is first opened, the File Browser helps users get started. It’s possible to create new documents, new folders, browse files, copy, move and rename files, view by file type, send files and even favorite files to find them easier.

What’s great about Polaris Office is that it isn’t running on another server or cloud, which means that it doesn’t require an internet connection. There are three basic ways for users to interact with it. The first is to create documents (except .pdf) directly within the app, the second is the option to connect to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Docs to download and upload files easily as well as import files through iTunes and the last option provides users with a way to integrate the app with the native mail services so users can view, edit and send documents.

polaris 4After playing around with Polaris, I was impressed with how well it was able to handle documents. Files appear almost exactly as they would in their native program. There aren’t quite as many editing options, but there’s enough to make life a little easier. Polaris includes 15 templates, 18 charts, 80 figures and over 300 functions. There’s also a camera mode that lets users add photos directly to documents and a slideshow mode to view Power Point presentations.

While the app provides a quick and effective way to edit and load MS Office documents, there are additional features that some may desire such as adding fonts, support for review and edit changes in Word and additional templates.

Polaris isn’t the complete Office package that some users may desire, but it does come pretty darn close. Tablets and smart phones won’t be replacing desktops or notebooks any time soon, but Polaris offers a nice alternative for those who can’t always have a computer nearby. With it’s current discount price of just $4.99, its definitely worth adding to the app collection for anyone who uses MS Office documents daily.

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