What Is Quickoffice

QuickOffice Final version
Courtesy Google, Inc

Quickoffice used to be the most useful mobile office app you could download. Things change, and Google has stopped supporting it. Quickoffice began in 1997 and was bought and sold several times over the years, finally landing at Google in 2012. Quickoffice offered Microsoft Office and Excel compatibility for Palm OS, HP webOS, Symbian, Blackberry, Android, iOS, and just about every other mobile platform released since the original Palm Pilot PDA.

These days, the mobile version of Google Drive offers Office compatibility and editing features that make Quickoffice unnecessary. The product isn't gone, yet. It's just unsupported and won't get any updates.

The History of Google and Quickoffice 

Google purchased Quickoffice in June of 2012. Quickoffice made a series of apps that ran on Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms. Google then slowly incorporated those features into Google Drive.  

This was similar to Picnik, another Google purchase, where the services continued for nearly two years before being phased completely out and folded into Google+. 

Why would Google need to buy something that is already very similar to Google offerings? Quickoffice allowed mobile users to open, read, and edit Microsoft Office and PDF files.  It was already compatible with Google Docs and could sync with services like Dropbox, SugarSync, and Evernote. Since Google already had a very similar tool with Google Docs/ Google Drive, why would they need to buy this product?

For Google, it was pretty handy to have an app in the Apple App store. At the time, Google didn't have a Google Drive (then Google Docs) app in the Apple App Store, and Google had a history of other apps being disallowed under somewhat suspicious circumstances as Apple has grew increasingly hostile with their competition in the phone space. 

In this case, what they were really buying is the employees. Quickoffice was full of developers that know how to work with Microsoft-formatted documents and translate them to other formats. They also know how to do it on a variety of mobile platforms.  

As of this writing, Quickoffice is still available, but with the warning that:

The Quickoffice app is no longer supported, but don't worry: all your favorite features--and a bunch of new ones--are now available in the Google Docs Apps: https://play.google.com/store/apps/collection/promotion_3000684_new_google_docs

That status may change at any time.