Google quietly announces plan to kill Quickoffice apps after beefing up Drive's editing
A little more than a year after Google introduced Quickoffice for Android and iOS, the company quietly announced that the apps will soon be pulled from Play and the App Stores. "With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks," the company said on the Google Apps blog.
Current users will still be able to use Quickoffice on their devices, but development of the app has stopped and new users won't be able to download it once it's pulled.
Although the two apps are only about 14 months old, the end of Quickoffice for Android and iOS was not unexpected. In April, Google introduced standalone apps for Docs and Sheets, two of the company's primary services previously attached to Google Drive.
Then, during the Google I/O keynote last Wednesday, the company took the wraps off its presentation app, Slides, for Android—an iOS version is forthcoming. Google also announced plans to beef up the capabilities Drive suite of apps by including the ability to edit Microsoft Office files natively, eliminating the need to converting documents, slideshows, and spreadsheets to Google's formats—a feature that was a key selling point for Quickoffice.
Office compatibility has yet to land on Google's iOS apps, however, and you'll still need to convert your Office documents to Drive's formats to take advantage of Google's collaborative document editing.
Google acquired Quickoffice in June 2012 in order to bring improved Microsoft Office compatibility to its productivity suite. Google then used Quickoffice largely to make Google Apps for Business more attractive. Apps for Business is the company's premium enterprise suite that includes Drive, Calendar, Gmail, and Hangouts.
Originally, Google's Quickoffice mobile apps were free to enterprise users, while consumers had to pay for the pro versions of the app. That ended in September 2013, when Google made Quickoffice free to all.
Now with Microsoft Office compatibility coming to Google's Docs, Sheets, and Slides, there's little reason to keep Quickoffice going. At this writing the Quickoffice apps were still available on both app stores. While the time of the suite's death is still hazy, expect Quickoffice to disappear once Google's trio of Drive apps are updated with those native Office editing capabilities.