Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Yanina Slavova, the Marketing Specialist at MobiSystems about OfficeSuite
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
It's important to first look at the digital landscape at the turn of the century. Mobile devices were getting increasingly more powerful and the productivity app market for handheld devices was almost non-existent. The niche pretty much presented itself and we got to work. By 2004, the first OfficeSuite (for Palm OS) was released, and the rest is history.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
Constant dialogue with our customer base is very important to pinpoint future plans. We try to always be agile and adaptable to the ever-changing landscape of our industry.
One of our top goals going forward is to improve the integration between OfficeSuite and our proprietary cloud service MobiSystems Drive. We've made great strides in streamlining the multiplatform experience for users, but there's always improvements that can be made.
Excluding that, we've always been focused on releasing new and interesting features for all OfficeSuite versions. A few years ago, there were a lot of requests for a desktop version of OfficeSuite. Today our Windows version is maturing fast and even has an entirely new module (Mail with Calendar), exclusive to the this version.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
Having a vision of where technology would drive demand and seeing it materialize. We couldn't have imagined everything that's available today when we started out, but the idea behind the app was there from the very start.
Of course, the journey itself was very rewarding as well. Seeing the app grow and become more popular was a big source of pride and fulfillment.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
Two things spring to mind here.
The first aspect, while not an obvious one, would be its ease of use. Making an office app tailored to mobile devices that's practical to use, even with the most complex features, was a game-changer for the product. Smaller screen sizes, different method of object manipulation, and a lot of other factors had to be very carefully considered and iterated upon through the years.
Second, our PDF-editing capabilities are very in-depth, and we feel it's one of the aspects of the product that stands out the most. There are a lot of products for work with PDF, most are very limited in terms of functionality. OfficeSuite offers everything from text, layout and formatting changes, to advanced features like digital signatures, fillable form support and conversion to and from PDF.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
Not sure surprised would be the correct word. App development and its surrounding industries are a very innovative and technologically advanced environment, so experimenting with tech or exploring different approaches outside our comfort zone is vital and often yields amazing results. In that regard, I think we mainly get surprised because we seek surprise ourselves. Playing it safe would mean less surprises, but also an increased chance your product stagnates or doesn't adapt to changes in the industry.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
What really inspired us was the pioneering spirit of some of the industry leaders like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and others. The vision they had for their product changed the status quo forever.
Of course, Microsoft Office in particular had a huge influence, it's a product that changed how productivity is viewed. We thought we could put our own spin on the concept and maybe take it a step further.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
It all starts with an idea or observation on existing practices. If you see a niche where you can add value and do more than what's been done before, that would be a very important first step. After that, perseverance and belief in your product's merits. There will be tough times and your product will be criticized, it's inevitable. You'll need to take it in stride, adapt your vision of the product and try to use the critique as fuel for innovation.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
From the start we were always focused on mobile devices predominantly. First came our Palm OS version in 2004 and within the next 10 years we developed versions for all major mobile operating systems (Symbian, Android and iOS).
As for versions on new platforms, OfficeSuite for Windows is our most recent addition to the OfficeSuite family, released in 2017. The product is maturing at a very fast pace and even has exclusive features that can't be found in its more mature brothers on Android or iOS. We're keeping an eye on customer requests and it's always our goal to expand our userbase, but for now we're focusing a lot of our attention to the Windows version.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
We're very proud of the adaptability OfficeSuite provides to its users. The business demands of today are different than 10-20 years ago. Work tasks are more complicated, reaction times need to be faster. We had to be very aware of what today's professionals are missing before we started work on the app. The streamlined UI, cloud integration and cross platform availability are all aspects that contribute to the app's “on-the-g?" nature. With almost 20 years of development behind it OfficeSuite is now a mature product capable of a very wide range of everyday and advanced tasks.
You can view OfficeSuite here
For more information, visit: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/officesuite-pdf-editor/id924005506