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The Future of LibreOffice – Android, iOS, fixes, and more

We interview Michael Meeks about LibreOffice’s future, what features he wants added, and the state of LibreOffice on Android and iOS.

LibreOffice 3.6 has just recently been released, bringing with it new features and bug fixes across all the applications. Our own David Crookes recently interviewed Michael Meeks about the past, present, and future of LibreOffice, where he revealed some interesting information.

While Meeks believes that Writer is working very well now in 3.6, there are still issues that are being worked on, like commenting and interoperability:

“Font embedding [is being fixed], so that we can put fonts inside documents so people can be more assured of the fidelity of the result at the other end. And again lots of Microsoft, even Excel, interoperability fixing goes on. And it’s trying just to get the very best round tripping we can to the world of proprietary Office suites…the new header/footer stuff are nice I guess. So you can now put a document page and get a widget that pops up so you can easily insert a header and footer which previously people said were very hard to do. And you can do that interactively: you can get your page numbers there with three clicks or whatever… but I think the main emphasis I guess would be the platforms and interoperability. They really are key things for us.”

Michael Meeks is a software developer who works extensively on LibreOffice


Meeks also revealed that the Android app, which will start as a viewer, is already being cross compiled and tested with “simple documents”. Currently it’s slated for 2013, but Meeks admits they cannot promise that: “There’s some limitations to Android, that make our life difficult like the 50 meg download limit for the base stuff.”

Testing is also going on for the iOS version, with some test units running LibreOffice right now. The iOS version is apparently much more difficult to get working though compared to its Android counterpart.

You can read the full interview with Meeks in a future issue of Linux User & Developer.