When most people think "word processor," Microsoft Word comes to mind, and usually not because people are particularly fond of that piece of software. Most accept it as the defacto word processor of choice because of its ubiquity in offices all over the world, but would prefer something a little less bloated or perhaps more specialized.
Luckily, there's lots of folks out there looking for a better word processor and the App Store has a ton of them.
Here are seven different takes on the word processor, each of which is equally viable and offers something unique.
Once only available for Android devices, OfficeSuite has finally landed on the app store. The Mobile Systems app lets you view, edit, create, and share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents as well as convert them to/from PDFs. It's touted as being like having a desktop on your phone.OfficeSuite supports Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and iCloud so you can save and share easily.
You can download the free version of OfficeSuite, or puchase OfficeSuite Pro for $9.99 or OfficeSuite Premium for $19.99.
+Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Zynga'sWords with Friends will be hitting its fifth anniversary very soon, and to celebrate 7.7 billion games played (and many, many uses of the word "qi" over the past 1800ish days), the game has been refreshed into New Words With Friends - now with some much-requested features.
The most requested feature was Solo Play, which now makes its début in the updated version of the app. Solo play allows players to practice without an Internet connection or direct opponent, with the game adjusting to the level of the player to still provide them with a challenge.
Community Matches, meanwhile, allow players to opt-in, search through a series of profile cards, and find themselves potential new opponents to face off against. Profiles are also new, with stats including high score, number of games completed, and average word score now available to show off to both your friends and recent opponents.
New Words With Friends is available now on the App Store and is worth 99 points free to download.
Today Microsoft has confirmed that Office is on its way to the iPad. In fact, the entire suite (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) is available now for free, with a subscription service available for full functionality.
Word is in many ways the same word processing program that you're no doubt already familiar with, only retooled for touch screens. Tables, charts, graphics, a table of contents, and all those other useful features are available on your iPad. Charts and other images that have been imported from Excel can be edited from within the app, and text will dynamically adjust around these items as you drag them around the page. Co-op features are also built in, which will allow multiple users to edit a document simultaneously in real-time across a number of different devices. No worries about things getting too confusing, though. It's also possible to display markup so that you can see what edits have been made, have conversations with your fellow users within the margins, and so on.
Excel carries over all the familiar features from its PC counterpart, along with the obvious changes for a touch-based interface. You can sort through chart layouts quickly and easily, and the app will even make recommendations for you with samples that use your data. Even the keyboard has been adjusted to cater to iPad users, with a customized numeric keyboard that should make data entry a lot easier.
PowerPoint allows you to import and edit your slides and images, includes all those popular transitional effects everybody seems to love, and has added some new functions that are specific to touch screens. First, you can call up a digital laser pointer by tapping and holding your finger on the screen, in order to make it easier to point out specific elements in a presentation. Second, you can add annotations by drawing highlights directly on the screen.
All of the apps in the Office 365 series also share data across multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, PC, etc) using Microsoft's OneDrive service. The entire collection is available now, for free, and uses the Office Mobile subscription-based model. So you can opt to pay $9.99/month or $99.99/year (family) or between $60.00/user/year and $180/user/year (business) in order to access the complete list of features across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Developer: Sarah Northway Price: $1.99
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: User Interface Rating: Gameplay Rating: Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
It’s interesting to think that the same mind behind the absolutely stellar (and in my opinion criminally under-looked) Rebuild could also be responsible for creating a Roguelike word game featuring a hip hop dog. Then again it makes a weird kind of sense. And despite the enormous gulf between genres, Word Up Dog is pretty much just as much of a time-eater as its less family-friendly older sibling.
So how does such a bizarre concept work? With a dog that’s more 80s than the 80s falling through a hole and getting trapped underground. In order to find his way home he needs to gather bones and dig his way out. Bones function as both a currency and a sort of energy meter: they can be used to buy power-ups as well as dig through dirt. Digging serves multiple purposes as it’s necessary to reach the level’s exit, find more bones, and acquire letters. The letters are, of course, the real stars of the show since they’re essential to earning even more bones and hopefully making it out in once piece.
Word Up Dog has a lot going for it whether or not players like the over the top 80s aesthetic. The levels are randomly generated which keeps replays from becoming stale. A number of vending machines as well as friendly animals can be found and each dispenses a different kind of handy item or tile that can completely turn a bad situation around. Later levels include enemies (of a sort) that can convert vowels to consonants and vice-versa. Which is all great stuff but my personal favorite is by far the random challenge feature that will toss increasingly difficult (yet totally optional) word-related tasks at players for bonus bones. There’s nothing quite like desperately digging for a “G” while the clock runs down in order to make a six-letter word and hopefully earn enough to access the end of the level.
If there was one thing I’d have to harp on Word Up Dog for, it would be the movement and digging controls. They aren’t really bad or anything, but they’re a little clunky since they’re oriented to what portion of the screen is tapped rather than a less screen obscuring directional pad. They only really become an issue when “enemies” that move when the puppy moves are introduced, and even then only slightly, but they’re still a bit of a problem.
Word Up Dog is an incredibly weird concept that seems all the more random when compared to the developer’s other releases, but that doesn’t make it any less amusing to play. It’s weird enough to enjoy without being too obtuse to follow. It’s also just plain goofy and worth showing off because it features animals dressed like rappers from the 80s: it practically sells itself.
Graphics / Sound Rating: User Interface Rating: Gameplay Rating: Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
The iOS world has seen its fair share of word game hybrids that encompass virtually every conceivable combination out there. And yet, new ones are still popping up. New ones like Word Derby that partner spelling with what can best be described as “those weird racing games at carnivals where people spray water at tiny targets to make their rider on a stick go faster.” It’s as unlikely a pairing as I could imagine, and yet it works exceedingly well.
The ultimate goal of Word Derby is to just have fun competing with other players. Sure there are some riders (many with special abilities) that can be unlocked but the real focus in simply on playing. Experience is earned and levels are gained with each turn taken that provide players with special profile badges to show off, but they’re just for show. The race is the thing here. Once a match is set up (between 2 and 4 players) and a bet placed (players bet tickets; the game’s all important currency), both players are given a small set of jumbled letters and are tasked with spelling something. The first letter is locked in, however, and all players’ turns are submitted simultaneously, which not only complicates things but penalizes the submission of two of the same word with zero points. It can happen, believe me.
Word Derby’s presentation is pretty neat in that it’s like an adorable cartoon carnival game. The characters are weird and cute at the same time, and everything just seems “friendly.” Playing it is also a lot of fun, which surprises me a little since I was a bit wary of the simultaneous turns thing. But it adds an element of excitement to each round. “Did the other person find the same word I did? Did they find a better one? Are they using a power-up to boost their chances?” As does the bonus points meter that gets more and more empty the longer a turn takes to complete. But those power-ups, wow. What’s clever about their implementation is that none of them are game winners, they can only be used once per game, and players have to pay for each use with their own tickets. So no spamming and no decided advantage for players with a larger bankroll.
It’s unfortunate that Word Derby can only be played with an online connection (i.e. no subway play), but that’s sort of how it goes with multiplayer-only games. And while the inclusion of a pass-and-play option is nice, it’s fairly pointless when the game needs an online connection to simply start up. Still, once a game (or several) is going it can be plenty of fun. Especially earning the ticket pot after coming in first.