Missing (Free) Android Apps – I – Office

Ok, so you know that I am using Android, and that I am not too happy with the situation. Ultimately Android is a JAVA-based operating system for phones, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that trying to replace a FreeBSD (or proper GNU/Linux) laptop with it, will cause some grief.

But, than Android does have some cool things (which I might elaborate on in another post), and the availibility just forces us as political Free Software users to take the OS seriously and care about its users.

So whats preventing me from be as productive on my device, as I want to be? Since I am not rooted and still running ASUS-Android 4.1.1 I will not talk about platform problems, like keyboard integration, but only apps. Maybe you know of some apps that could help, or see some Apps that you could help out with testing or hacking, who knows.

Part 1 of this series is on Word-processing

Ok, I don’t digg Office-apps in general, because I prefer tex, but especially in my current ultra-mobile use case, where I often need to take some formatted notes, or hand the Transformer to someone else, I need a working office app. My device came with Polaris Office preinstalled, which is proprietary and only creates docx files which totally rules it out.

I looked around for a while, but I really did not find a working free replacement. LibreOffice seems to have someone working on it, but judging from my previous experiencewith OOo it is probably such a memory hog that I doubt it will work nicely. But maybe I am too skeptic.

Then there is Calligra Active, the mobile port of former KOffice, which would probably be right for my usecase and looks like it is way more portable than LibreOffice, for which they are developing a completely new interface…
BUT unfortunately the developer builds of Calligra Active crash on my Transformer. Have any of you tried them, yet? Is there some way this development could be spead up? I have the feeling some projects would be a lot further, if they had half the (wo)man-power other big projects have…

23,983 thoughts on “Missing (Free) Android Apps – I – Office

  1. Well, yes — to develop Calligra Active on Android, we’d need to find funding. KO did the initial port to see whether it was feasible, and it turned out to be, but we didn’t have the funding to finish the port and make it into a product. The result is that the main focus of Calligra Active is on Plasma Active right now.

    • Sad to hear the funding situation is not as well, as it would need to be. I understand that your focus is on Plasma Active, since it’s in an in-house proejct. Then again, even if Calligra stayed niche on Android it would still help more people (and possibly attract more developers) than it will on Plasma Active in the foreseeable future…
      AND judging from the current situation it could very well become popular, because there are few alternatives.

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