LibreOffice is an open source, cross-platform suite of office apps that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Earlier this year LibreOffice and Collabora launched an early preview of a LibreOffice Viewer for Android. It was a bit buggy and lacked editing functions, but development has continued and the latest builds work much better… and offer support for editing your documents.

libreoffice android_00

You can download the latest unstable development build of LibreOffice for Android and install the APK on your phone, tablet or other device to take the office suite for a spin.

It still lacks at least one key feature: there’s no option to create a new document. But you can open text, slideshow, and spreadsheet documents and view or edit them on your mobile device.

LibreOffice for Android includes mobile versions of Writer, Calc, Draw, and Impress and supports the same document formats as the desktop version of the app. But the user interface has been optimized for Android with large, finger-friendly buttons and support for mobile features including pinch-to-zoom and long-press to select text.

You can resize images by tapping to select and then dragging a corner. And you can use Android’s on-screen keyboard to enter text. While you can’t yet create new documents, you can save edited documents.

There are plenty of desktop features which aren’t yet available n the mobile version of LibreOffice. But the Android version of the popular office suite is well on its way to becoming a viable alternative to Google Docs, QuickOffice, Polaris Office, and other mobile office suites.



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8 replies on “LibreOffice for Android preview gains support for editing documents”

  1. Huh? If you can open read and edit a compatible document in Android, why can’t you create a new document?

    1. It’s a android app meant for secondary usage, like reviewing a document on the go, for your primary usage device… It isn’t meant to replace your primary usage device… yet, anyway…

      1. Hi CyberGusa…

        Yeah, Micro$oftt does that sort of thing by supplying a free “reader” application anyone can install to read Office documents, spreadsheets, etc. and even use them to some extent. The application is crippled (no saving no creating new documents) because you didn’t pay Micro$oft for a full Office Suite product.

        But LibreOffice is Free Open Source Software, not a paid-for application (unless you want to contribute and support LibreOffice of-course). So, if you can edit and save any EXISTING document with the LibreOffice Android App, then it is a trivial technical jump to be able to create a new document – right? Or am I missing something?

        1. Hmm, where to begin…

          Well, first it’s nothing you should single MS out on… Android apps have long had pay for apps that offered more limited versions for free or just gave user a choice between the pay for version or one full of ads…

          Second, Open Source doesn’t necessarily mean free! Developers usually have revenue sources based on providing support, added features, or a combination with donation funds, or using ad revenue, etc.

          Third, Open Source Projects are usually lacking in resources and this one also has to share with the original desktop project and online project…

          Fourth, the App is still in Beta so they’re not done yet and they’ll focus on what they can but don’t expect a full port to android…

          Fifth, Android is still very much a mobile OS that’s limited by design… Apps are generally intended to be very light and easy to run and with most devices with limited screen size and lacking input methods other than small capacitive screens doesn’t exactly make it ideal for productivity apps…

          Android is also not GNU/Linux… it specifically lacks the GNU… and what can be done with it is more limited than what can be done with a desktop app…

          The lack of storage, RAM, etc on most devices doesn’t help either… but most mobile apps are designed for the lowest common denominator in order to ensure the app can run in as many devices as possible… So that usually rules out making apps that push the highest end hardware…

          Many high end features for Android usually end up actually dealing with a external PC… Like streaming games, cloud computing, etc.

          Sixth, why go out of their way to develop a mobile app when they can just link it to the upcoming online version for more easily providing it features?

          After all, most mobile devices will usually always be connected… and there are already Android Office apps that they would have to compete with as well…

          Besides, it’s not like this is their only project and they only have so much resources to work with…

        2. Yes it is trivial to add, heck you could even take an existing document, edit out its contents and use it as a new document as a work around for now.

          His point was that most people would probably not want to create a document from scratch on an android device. It’s rather fiddly just to type this comment on 7 inch tablet….

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