Google Snags Quickoffice. What Does that Mean for Office Apps on iOS?

The giants are always at war with one another. Google, Apple and Microsoft. Yet somehow they still manage to offer some pseudo-support for each other’s products. But the tablet race is heating up and as more and more people are using them for work, the competition for their money is getting fierce.

Google made a preemptive move by purchasing Quickoffice, one of just a few office suites available for Android and iOS (among others) that are any good. On iOS there are really only three office suites to choose from, with Quickoffice being the cheapest. It has limitations, but its ability to sync documents from the most popular formats and apps (like Dropbox) make it a strong contender. Google has yet to produce any mobile app that does office as well as Quickoffice, so it makes perfect sense they acquired it.

But what could this mean for productivity office apps on iOS? Apple is already about to reveal its own Map app and data so it doesn’t depend on Google. Would it take any action to prevent, or at least impede, a now Google backed Quickoffice app? Some around the web think they just might.

What would that leave consumers? There is of course the native Apple iWork apps. Though they are quite good, they have limited sync options and are pricey. To get the whole suite costs around $30.

Another option is Documents To Go. This app is priced just over the Quickoffice and offers great functionality except for its presentation options. However since it was acquired by Research in Motion about a year and a half ago there hasn’t been much movement or updates to the app.

So the options for iOS users are getting slim. But perhaps Apple will be more open to the app than people expect, or another enterprising company will step in and take up the slack.

In the meantime Microsoft is working in the background to release Windows 8 and its own version of Office for mobile platforms. No one believes there will ever be a Microsoft office app for Android or iOS. But if they manage to make it work on future Windows tablets, it just might shake things up enough for Google or Apple to start working together - or at least not in opposition. Time will tell.