German software developer SoftMaker is readying a beta of a new office suite for Android tablet users that will offer user interface and application capabilities in line with full-blown desktop suites, the firm said.
To be called SoftMaker Office HD, the suite will support tablets running Android 4.0 or above and will offer the full feature set of SoftMaker’s Office 2012 desktop productivity suite. A private beta of the suite is due to start next week.
While SoftMaker already has a version of its suite that runs on Android – SoftMaker Office Mobile for Android – that release has a user interface that is optimised for smartphone screens. The upcoming version will have a user interface much more in line with that of the desktop suite, according to SoftMaker founder Martin Kotulla.
“SoftMaker Office HD implements the full SoftMaker Office, with a user interface that is very close to the Windows and Linux versions of SoftMaker Office,” he told V3.
In addition, it will be based on updated source code that adds significant new features, such as support for up to a million rows and pivot tables in the PlanMaker spreadsheet, charts in the TextMaker and Presentations applications, plus enhanced performance and improved filters for Microsoft’s DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX file formats.
SoftMaker already prides itself on a high level of file compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, claiming to support both the DOC, XLS, and PPT of older Office releases as well as the newer HTML-based file formats used by Microsoft from Office 2007 onwards.
The private beta will allow users to test out the new SoftMaker Office and give the firm feedback in the form of bug reports and enhancement suggestions.
SoftMaker said it will offer a public beta open to everyone in a few weeks, but for now, those interested in trying the software must create an account in the firm’s online discussion forum and apply by sending an email.