Before I carry on with this blog, let me get one thing straight. I LOVE Office on the iPad and as an active Office 365 for Business subscriber, I cannot recommend it enough. Microsoft have worked incredibly hard in re-working the interface model from the disaster that was Office on the iPhone. Working in the same lines as the ever-improving OneNote for Mac/iOS, there is an interface that works, particularly with Word. I've now started using Word and Excel for all iPad publishing that doesn't require any Markdown editing or automation. Keynote still totally kicks PowerPoint into touch though!
However, an Office 365 subscription does not fit everybody's model of work. Some people are dead against the subscription methodology as they would rather own the product. I fully understand this point of view and wouldn't dream of arguing against it. My life is pretty much subscription based though. Spotify, check. Netflix, Check. Readr, check. Office 365, check. I'm even contemplating leasing my next car rather than owning it outright.
If you are one of these people that would rather own than subscribe, then consider these top alternatives to Office.
I would say that Apple's iWork suite is a must have if you need to work with Office documents on the go but are embedded in the Apple eco-system and love the look and feel of the applications that you use. It is free with new iPads and Mac's that are purchased, however available on the App Store if not.
iWork consists of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. I must admit, I still use Numbers occasionally because of the fantastic iCloud collaboration between my Mac and iPad. Keynote is fantastic and a must have for the presentations I deliver.
iWork represents the number one alternative in my eyes.
SmartOffice 2 has a superb ability to share documents easily with others. It has full cloud access through Dropbox, Google Docs and others and is able to print to a wide variety of printers too (as can Microsoft Office for iPad after the last update). This is a feature that is lacking in a lot of other apps, so check this out before you consider alternatives.
Like Office, you can save to pdf and it is currently £6.99
Polaris Office 5
Polaris Office 5 is a full office suite. Like SmartOffice 2, you can link to a variety of cloud services and can also import images directly from your Camera Roll.
It's a good solid product and is currently priced at £8.99
Documents To Go
As with the previous products, Documents To Go is a complete office suite and it can be paired with the desktop version in order to keep all of your documents synced. iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox are supported as cloud storage options if you go for the premium option.
I find the interface with this very easy to use and is probably the best for a beginner.
It's not cheap for the premium version, however I would say it is worth the investment for it's ability to sync to a wide variety of services.
Standard Version - £6.99
Premium Version - £11.99
I needed to put a cheaper option in this post and so I think OfficeSuite Professional fits the bill.
It allows for the editing of Word and Excel documents however users are only able to VIEW PowerPoints and PDF's, so bear this mind before making a decision on your purchase. All documents can be stored in the cloud or locally on the app and - it costs £1.49
So those are my picks. If you have any other products that you use or can recommend, then please feel free to comment below and let people know.