The HP TouchPad hardware may not have a future, but at least updated software for the tablet does: Quickoffice HD is now updated to include document editing. The productivity software is bundled with all TouchPad tablets, but at time of launch, didn’t yet support the ability to modify documents. With the update, Quickoffice HD users can now create or edit Word documents or Excel spreadsheets on the TouchPad, and they also gain a few other new perks, as per the official HP Palm blog:
Quickoffice HD adds editing capabilities (for Microsoft Word and Excel) to give you more abilities to draft and update documents. Formatting options include changing font type, color, size, underlining, italics, and bold in Word, and formating cells and using functions in Excel. In addition, the free update includes many performance and multitasking enhancements.
It’s good to see a third-party developer and launch partner deliver features that were promised, although it’s likely that most of the software work was completed by the time HP decided to shelve its tablet just 49 days after debuting it. Regardless, there are now many TouchPad owners that can benefit from the new Quickoffice HD functions: Once HP decided to sell off inventory as low as $99 per device, several hundred thousand consumers snapped up the device.
Prior to this update — which hasn’t yet appeared on my TouchPad at the time of this writing — I’ve used Google Docs directly in the browser to edit Microsoft Word documents. The process has worked well, but was sometimes slow or laggy. Once my software is updated, I’ll likely switch over to Quickoffice HD, as the native application should perform better than a web-based editor. The useful software isn’t limited to a specific data source for my document library either. I have it synched up with my DropBox account, Google Docs and the free 50 GB of Box.net storage that came with the TouchPad.