SoftMaker have been creating quality Office Suite applications for Android for quite a while now. Not too long ago, they announced free, "Basic" editions of TextMaker HD, PlanMaker HD and Presentations HD Basic available in the Amazon Appstore. Here, we'll be focusing on TextMaker HD Basic, a free office app for Android that delivers 100% compatibility with Microsoft Office as well as other office suites out there. It features a more Desktop-like user interface that professionals will be more familiar with and there are all sorts of advanced formatting options available at users' fingertips. With great usability with a touchscreen as well as a mouse and keyboard, TextMaker HD turns your Android tablet into a portable workstation, and with the Basic version, it's now free.
Right now, the TextMaker HD Basic version is only available from the Amazon Appstore and you can download it here. Once you've downloaded the free TextMaker HD, you can go ahead and explore the app.
Right away, you can see that TextMaker HD Basic has a more Desktop-oriented look and feel to it. Even though it does look more like a Desktop application it is super-easy to use with touch. You can pinch-to-zoom quite easily, all the way out:
To all the way in. On my Nexus 9, everything scales nicely, and text looks sharp. Margins adjust no matter how far zoomed in or out you are and there's a lot of information on one screen, giving professionals lots of detail. College students needing to adhere to strict standards can be sure that everything is in order, for example, and be sure it'll work in Microsoft Office or whatever else.
Opening one of your own files is nice and easy, and you can of course easily load from the most popular cloud storage providers.
All the dropdown menus here all remind me of a Desktop-style app, and while that won't please everyone, those familiar with using a Desktop or laptop at work or home will find this setup familiar while on the move.
You can also create pieces of work using some really handy templates. Which allows people to create letters and memos wherever they are with pretty straightforward templates.
The templates look pretty good, as we can see the one here for a memo:
We've reviewed SoftMaker office products before in the past, and perhaps one of the biggest issues for the average user was the price. This basic offering does away with that barrier, and also lets those on Google Android tablets as well as Amazon Fire tablets use this excellent word processor for nothing. For some, the Desktop-style will definitely put people off, but we need to remember just how powerful and flexible Android can be. You can hook up a mouse and keyboard to this and then create a sort of Desktop with just an Android tablet. Otherwise, this is perfectly serviceable with just a touchscreen, and there's a lot of view options and all the menus are surprisingly touch-friendly, too. For free, this is one of the best, and most fully-featured office apps available on Android.
- Speed (4/5) – TextMaker HD Basic runs great on my Nexus 9.
- Features (5/5) – With no price barrier, it's surprising just how much that TextMaker HD Basic has on offer really, and for students and those used to the Desktop Microsoft Word, this should feel right at home.
- Theme (4/5) – Despite the Desktop-style look and feel, this will be familiar to a lot of users, and it's very touch-friendly, too.
- Overall (4/5) – There are a few niggles here and there, but considering that this is free, there's little to complain about here, and I'm sure a lot of users will appreciate the similar Desktop look and feel.
- Completely free, there are in-app purchases for extra features, but this is not a trial; it's just a free version.
- Excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office, it works perfectly with few, if any hiccups.
- Works well with cloud storage services, and is easy to setup in this regard.
- Lots of formatting options and fonts available to choose from.
- Some might be put off by the Desktop-style of the app.
- Needs a little work where scaling large images are concerned.
All-in-all, for a free Android app, TextMaker HD Basic is great value and it has a lot of features with no ads or anything like that in the way. It works great for those on the move, and we're sure that a lot of students and professionals will appreciate the extra formatting options and there's more than enough on offer here to help people create whatever they want. There's also Presentations HD Basic as well as PlanMaker HD Basic available from Amazon, too. Both of which are also totally free.