Chapter 23. The Office

The Skim

General Approaches

The Office

Every year, I start working on a chapter for the new edition of iPhone Fully Loaded by reading the chapter from the previous year's edition.

This year, the topic of getting Microsoft Office docs on your iPhone infused me with enough nostalgia that I wound up tracking the subject through every edition plus iPod Fully Loaded, the book series' predecessor. The first edition relied on lots of clever tricks and generic text-bashing utilities to brute-force to get data from Word documents, spreadsheets, and databases into a format that the iPod could handle in even the most rudimentary form. When the iPhone came out, it could open certain files directly but still required a bit of massage. And there were a few Web sites that allowed the editing and creation of content.

Last edition's bagatelle on this subject began with cautious paragraphs. "As I write this," I said, "the App Store has only been open for a few months and we've still yet to see a single decent database or spreadsheet app." And then there was a note from my editor to please insert some blank pages right about here. Much like setting out an empty place setting for Elijah during a Passover seder, I felt that these blank pages symbolized the awesome Microsoft Office-style apps that would arrive for the iPhone at some unknown point.

(I couldn't get my publisher to get on board with ...

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