AndrOpen Office is a full office suite for Android (based on Apache OpenOffice)

There’s no shortage of apps for viewing and editing office documents on an Android phone, tablet, or TV box. But AndrOpen Office might be one of the most powerful… if not necessarily the most useful. It’s basically a port of Apache OpenOffice, a  full-featured open source desktop office suite for Linux, Windows, and Mac computers.

AndrOpen Office is based on Apache OpenOffice 3.4, which isn’t exactly the most recent version, but it includes powerful word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation apps, as well as a database app, math utility, and drawing app with support for files in Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, OpenDocument, and many other formats.

andropen office

There’s a bit of a catch thought: AndrOpen Office has been retooled to run on Android and work with touchscreen input and automatic screen rotation. But that’s about it. For the most part, what you get is an app designed for notebook and desktop computers ported to run on small phones and tablets.

In other words, try running AndrOpen Office on your phone and you’ll probably have a hard time doing anything at all — because your fingers are probably too thick to accurately hit the file, edit, or other buttons. I took it for a spin on a 7 inch tablet, and was I was just barely able to create a simple spreadsheet — I also accidentally punched a bunch of buttons I hadn’t meant to along the way.

Fortunately, not all Android devices have small screens, and not all rely on finger input for everything. If you have a 10 inch tablet, you may have better results. If you’re using a tablet with a stylus, you may have better results. And if you’re using an Android TV box plugged into a monitor or TV, AndrOpen Office can make your little box feel even more like a full-fledged desktop computer.

The office app takes a bit longer to load than your average Android app, but that’s a small price to pay for an office suite that you can use to view, edit, and create documents on the go, complete with support for macros, pivot tables, the ability to export files to alternate formats, and much more.

AndOpen Office is available as a free download from the Google Play Store.

via /r/Android

  • Nate

    I don’t think this is going to work very well on a 10″ tablet either, not unless the user already has the fine motor skills necessary.

    I’ve never used a desktop style interface on Android, but I have had a similar experience on Windows CE. That old mobile OS got a pocket MSOffice suite over 10 years ago. The interface was largely identical to the regular Office running on Windows 98/ME/XP. I was able to use it, but I quickly relearned the keyboard shortcuts. (Which is part of the reason I still miss devices like the nec mobilepro 900, which had a 5″ screen and a workable mobile keyboard.)

    • Tsais

      Using computing equipment always required various skills. Some rudimentary level of motor control was always needed.

      Lets not pick on software that requires skills. I don’t like gear that was intended for people who shop at Walmart in their pajamas.

  • Guy

    Anyone know the difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It seems some distros switched to LibreOffice.

    • CampGareth

      openoffice while open was owned by Oracle who shut it down in 2011 (Libre was started during oracle’s reign as they’ve been known to be evil in the past). Nowadays OO has been taken over by Apache.

      • Porto

        I see. I guess it wasn’t just VirtualBox that Oracle messed up.

    • Mark

      LibreOffice was a fork of the source code when Oracle took OpenOffice and basically dropped it. By now the code between the two has diverged a lot due to a *massive* code cleanup and re-factoring on the Libre side (there was 20 years of code in there).

  • Tsais

    I much prefer that they made it available sooner (now) and add more touch screen UI polish later as time permits.

    Works great on my 5.5″ Galaxy Note with stylus as it is.

    Much thanks to all the people who made this and to Apache! You guys rock!

  • Caitlin Bestler

    It works very well with a 10″ display and a permanent keyboard, such as an HP slatebook 10-x2. presume the same would apply with the Asus TF 700/701. But even with a bluetooth keyboard I did not find it usable on my Nexus 7. The UI needs to be updated to the new ergonomics.

    I ended up getting a lighter work laptop, rather than deal with the limitations of mobile platforms.

  • Mark

    This works rather well on a Tegra Note using the pen and a bluetooth keyboard. At least now I can open and edit my .odt and .ods files on my tablet.

  • artinvent

    This may not be tremendously useful right now. But what it means is that Android can become much more useful on laptop replacements and larger tablets. Windows is great on desktop apps but still barely passable as a tablet ecosystem, whereas Android has the tablet apps but virtually no productivity apps.

    I would think that porting more open source Linux desktop style apps like OO could make Android a real contender on touchscreen laptops and serious convertibles where they are pushing Windows now.

    I’m imagining a $400 11″ thin ARM based tablet with stylus and KB cover, running OO, Gimp, Inkscape, Blender, Scribus. . . Want.

  • noob
  • Efjay

    So someone has taken something which is non-commercial (now) worked on by the open source community for free, added a wrapper and has shoved ads in it to make THEM money. Is this developer’s time more valuable than ALL the developers who originally created and maintain OpenOffice? Sorry, but I think that’s just out of order, maybe it doesn’t strictly violate open source licences but it does seem to defy the spirit of it. It’s also a big ‘up yours’ to the developers who give their time and energy making open source software for everyone to enjoy freely. Ads are just off putting, ugly and unprofessional looking, no matter how discrete or how justified – they just have no place in open source software. Rant over, app deleted.

    That aside, there are ad-free and better optimised office suites for Android already, Google’s own QuickOffice and Kingsoft’s suite. I’m still hoping for a tablet friendly port of LibreOffice but that maybe unrealistic or even overkill. Perhaps a new open source project is needed to bring ODF creation and editing to tablet devices.

  • Lifeisabeach

    Well, it’s a first effort, but not very impressive! The menus and buttons are tiny, that makes its UI almost unusable even for Tablets, and definitely unusable for Smartphones. Compared to most other office suites for Android, it’s extremely slow, it has many quirks and it tends to freeze quite often. If one needs a “real” office suite that comes close to working on a PC version, SoftMaker Office Mobile (or separately the apps TextMaker Mobile, PlanMaker Mobile, Presentations Mobile) are unrivaled. They are extremely feature-packed, but compared to AndrOpen Office, they also have a nice UI, they are reliable and fast, and they have the best interoperability with Microsoft Office formats on the market. I’d always prefer spending a few bucks for excellent productivity than waste my time with free apps that are full of oddities and limitations.

  • Älter und weiser

    +1 best office app on android to do real work.
    But you really do need a 10″ tab

  • Scott Gibbs

    Yes! Just discovered this app! I bought the new HP Slatebook 14 and while I love the “entertainment” value of having such a big screen on an Android device, I found all the Office apps severely lacking. Great apps for a phone or small tablet, but they weren’t great on a laptop sized display. THIS is what I’d been looking for. Sure, it’s still not as “robust” as Microsoft Office, but at least I finally feel like I have a true word processer.