Developer: DataViz, Inc
Price: free Download on the App Store
It has been a long wait for Dataviz's Documents To Go to arrive in the App Store. Documents To Go has been the standard on mobile platforms such as the BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile for years. Users of the iPhone have griped since the phone's debut about the lack of a comprehensive document editing app; especially since this technology has existed for nearly a decade (Office Mobile first debuted on the Pocket PC in 2000).
But the wait is finally over, and it has been (almost) worth it. Documents To Go does not disappoint in its interface and usability. Some of its features are not new to iPhone users: viewing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be done from within the mail app and other existing App Store offerings. However, there are few competitors when it comes to creating and editing a document.
It is refreshing to use an app that works so well right out of the gate. Too many in the App Store debut with bugs and glitches and do not seem to hit their stride until version 2.0. Probably the biggest drawback to the current version is that it only supports editing documents. Spreadsheets are promised in a future version. On the upside Documents To Go works with nearly any version of documents: including the .docx format of Office 2007.
Documents To Go has a bit of a learning curve - it is essentially trying to be a mobile version of Microsoft Word. But the interface works well. There are three pages of options on the task bar right above the keyboard. You simply swipe to display the other choices. Highlighting is nice (it was pretty cool to have this feature a couple of days in advance of the OS 3.0 update) but can get a bit cumbersome if you don't have laser-like precision with your finger taps. Double tapping selects a word and triple tapping selects a paragraph. If you tap and hold anywhere on screen it will bring up a magnifying glass. Once it starts to pulse, then drag it to select text.
Downloading the desktop client is essential to get the most from Documents To Go. You can select folders that synchronize with your iPhone over a Wi-Fi connection. But there is a 100MB recommended ceiling, so don't plan on syncing your entire My Documents folder.
Documents To Go is available in two versions: the main difference being the more expensive option includes support for Microsoft Exchange attachments. So if you use email through Exchange, it would be well worth it to have the ability to edit attachments from your inbox. Dataviz also promises that if you buy Documents To Go you will receive an upgrade to Excel editing when it becomes available. And at $4.99 the scaled down version is quite the good deal.