In a world where Apple and Microsoft are constantly circling their digital wagons around their respective business software, open source poses a real challenger to their resulting gated communities. Now one of the most popular pieces of open source business software, Open Office, is coming to iOS, in a release called Office 700.
This port was handled by Akikazu Yoshikawa, the man behind the previous Android port of Open Office — so really an iOS version was the next logical step. He’s spent around a year working on it off and on, detailing some of the processes on the official Office 700 blog. It’s technically a port of Apache OpenOffice, and that presented some unique challenges, such as its lack of support for cross compiling, but he made it work in the end.
It’s a full release, too, with all of the main functions like text editing (ODT), drawing (ODG), presentation (ODP) and spreadsheets (ODS). As Betanews reports, the current system doesn’t come with database support, but that’s in the works.
With it you can view, edit, import and export documents; format paragraphs, create stylized text with special effects, and open up a large number of different document types. It’s not able to handle certain ones, like Word 2007’s DOCX format, or AutoCAD DXF files, but the list of supported files is far longer than the list of those that aren’t.
Compatibility is broad across many different iPad versions, though your device will require iOS 9.0 to run it.
The only aspect that Open Office fans may disapprove of is the price. While Open Office on your desktop is entirely free, Office 700 is not. It will set you back $4 direct from the App Store.
At the time of writing it lacks any reviews, but we would imagine those will begin to pour in over the next few days, and you’ll be able to have a much better idea of how well put together the software package is.