Google's Quickoffice apps for Android and iOS users will no longer carry monthly fees under a new "free for all" policy announced by Google.
"Everyone likes free stuff, which is why starting today we're making Quickoffice available for free, for everyone," wrote Alan Warren, vice president of engineering for Google, in a Sept. 19 post on the Google Drive Blog. Users must have a Google account to tap into Quickoffice, which allows users to edit Microsoft Office documents across their devices.
Previously, Quickoffice Pro was available to iPhone and iPad users for $14.99 per month, while a Quickoffice Pro HD version was also offered for $19.99 per month, according to Google. Those services were also available for free to Google Apps for Business customers who paid $50 a year per user.
"You can get the new, free Quickoffice app for Android and iOS phones and tablets on Google Play and in the App Store," wrote Warren. "Simply sign in with your Google Account to start editing Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations on mobile. You'll also notice a number of new features, including a refreshed icon, the ability to create .ZIP folders, and view charts in Excel and PowerPoint files."
Another new feature of the improved Quickoffice apps, which replace the older Quickoffice Pro versions, is that they work across devices so users don't have to install separate versions to use on their smartphones and tablets. The older versions of the apps have been removed from their prospective stores, and users will be notified that they will need to upgrade to the new versions, wrote Warren.
An added bonus for users of the new Quickoffice apps is that users who sign in to their Google accounts from the new Quickoffice app for Android or iOS by Sept. 26, 2013, will receive an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage in their accounts for two years, wrote Warren. The added storage will be visible in users' accounts within the next several weeks.
Users who purchased Quickoffice Pro or Pro HD on or after June 17, 2013, are eligible to receive 50GB of free Google Drive storage to compensate them for their purchases. Those affected users can fill out this online form to redeem the storage offer, according to Google.
For users, Quickoffice integrates with Google Drive storage so they can safely access their files from anywhere.
Quickoffice apps enable users to view, create, edit and synchronize documents on devices using any of the leading mobile operating systems, including Apple iOS, Android and Nokia Symbian. Quickoffice is compatible with Microsoft Office and includes apps for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively.
Since Google's acquisition of Quickoffice in June 2012, it has been making improvements to the Quickoffice offerings. Quickoffice allows users to work with their legacy Microsoft Office files by converting them into Google documents or by editing them directly in Quickoffice.
The debut of Quickoffice for iPads in December 2012 was a boon for Google Apps for Business users who wanted the ability to open and edit their Microsoft Office files on their iPads.
In April 2013, Google expanded Quickoffice to Android and iPhone users, giving them the same capabilities to modify and edit Office documents on the fly.
In December 2012, Google announced that it was ending its free version of Google Apps for Business after deciding that most business users have been quickly outgrowing it and signing up for more fully featured paid accounts that offer additional services. The move came seven years after Google first began offering the free Google Apps services.
The paid Google Apps for Business accounts began in 2007 when Google began charging $50 per user annually, a fee that provided larger inbox mail storage and access to Google APIs to allow businesses to build custom apps and other extra services. Google also added apps versions aimed at governments, universities and schools.