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Free spreadsheet apps can show you the money, but paid versions spare you from ads

Liane Cassavoy | Oct. 8, 2014
Of the five mobile spreadsheet apps Liane Cassavoy tested, the best made it surprisingly easy to work with the data on a small screen.

Google Sheets
Google Sheets lacks the slick interface of Documents To Go, which somehow manages to make a spreadsheet on your iPhone look like a spreadsheet on your PC--while still remaining readable.  But if you can live without that sort of flash, Google Sheets has a lot to offer.

It's free and free of ads, and it integrates directly with your Google Drive account. Any spreadsheets you have stored there are automatically accessible from your Android or iOS device. (Google Sheets works on desktops, too.)

I like how easy it is to view and edit basic spreadsheets, and how Google Sheets saves files that can be accessed on a desktop with Microsoft Excel.

As a Google Drive user, I especially like the tight integration with Google Drive: All of my spreadsheets were readily available, right from the comfort of my iPhone. But if you rely on another cloud service, Documents to Go might be the better option than Google Sheets.

Simple Spreadsheet
 Android users looking for a cheap and easy spreadsheet app will appreciate Simple Spreadsheet. Available in free (with ads) or paid ($2.00) versions, Simple Spreadsheet lets you create and edit basic spreadsheets on your Android device.

The interface is definitely more simple than slick, lacking the desktop-like design of Documents To Go and even the mobile-friendly look of Google Sheets. Still, Simple Spreadsheet is perfectly functional, allowing you to enter numbers and formulas with ease. 

 I was pleasantly surprised by Sheet2. This iOS-only app proved impressive when used to create and edit spreadsheets, even on a small iPhone screen. 

Sheet2 links to various cloud-based services, including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and others, allowing you access to your stored spreadsheets.

Opening spreadsheets stored in my Google Drive account was a touch slow, but once Sheet2 accessed my files, it displayed them beautifully on the small screen. Its editing tools are nicely laid out across the bottom of the screen, and I like how you can scroll through the various worksheets of a single spreadsheet as if they were images. 

Sheet2 lets you save spreadsheets in .xls or .xlsx formats, and you can share them via email. The spreadsheets I created on my phone opened seamlessly on my desktop in Excel, with no data lost. At $3.99, Sheet2 is more expensive than its free rivals, but its feature set is a step above them, too.


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