How to open and play all file types on Android

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The Play Store offers a wide variety of apps to read and edit Office documents. The Google Drive and Microsoft Office apps are technically just “view” apps – meaning you can view and read the document, but not edit. If you want to open, edit, save or even convert a DOCX, XLSX, PPT, PDF file on Android, then you’re best off downloading one of the specialist apps. In this case those would be Docs (Google), Sheets (Google), Slides (Google), Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All of them can export PDF files, which most Android smartphones can open thanks to the fact that Google Drive has a built in PDF viewer pre-installed.

Google Drive Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WPS Office Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft-Apps No Yes Yes Yes No No No No

Quite a few smartphone manufacturers also pre-install WPS Office. The App contains ads, and if you want to unlock new fonts and convert documents/files on Android, you will need to pay. Nevertheless many users appreciate the seamless dropbox connectivity and good syncing capabilities between smartphone/tablet and PC.  Another worthwhile App to use for those looking for a Microsoft Office alternative for Android is Kingsoft Office.

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WPS Office / © AndroidPIT

WPS Office + PDF
Install on Google Play

Google Drive
Install on Google Play

Microsoft Office Mobile
Install on Google Play

In order for you to open and read ePub and other ebook files you’ll need a dedicated ebook reader. We recommend the Moon+ Reader, as it’s capable of opening epub, pdf, mobi, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html, rar, zip and OPDS files.

Moon+ Reader
Install on Google Play

I wish Android phones had pre-installed ebook readers

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Many phones have got the Google Photos apps preinstalled on it already, which at this point can even handle raw files. But if you really want your smartphone or tablet to be capable of dealing with every image file out there, we can recommend RawDroid Pro. For the price of $5 |€5,40 in the google play store (currently €3,70 on amazon), your Android will be capable of reading the following image formats:

.3fr (Hasselblad), .arw .srf .sr2 (Sony), .bay (Casio), .crw, .cr2 (Canon), .cap, .iiq, .eip (Phase_One), .dcs, .dcr, .drf, .k25, .kdc (Kodak), .dng (Adobe), .erf (Epson), .fff (Imacon), .mef (Mamiya), .mos (Leaf), .mrw (Minolta), .nef, .nrw (Nikon), .orf (Olympus), .pef, .ptx (Pentax), .raf (Fuji), .raw, .rw2 (Panasonic), .raw, .rwl, .dng (Leica), .srw (Samsung) und .x3f (Sigma).

RawDroid Pro
Install on Google Play

The pinnacle of play-anything desktop media players is VLC. The Android version is still finally out of the beta phase and can play almost all audio and video files (as well as stream) and handle multiple audio tracks, subtitles, auto-rotation of the display and corrections to the aspect ratio. Volume and brightness can be controlled by gestures, and there’s widgets available too. We’ve got a nice article which gives a little bit more of an insight about codec errors and unsupported audio files.

ANDROIDPIT best video player
Playing videos on Android is super easy / © ANDROIDPIT

Two other well-engineered video players are MoboPlayer and MX Player, both of which also support subtitles, multi-audio, streams and playlists and can also play back formats that are not supported by the default video player. The bookmark function is also very convenient: when you leave a movie halfway through, the next time you open the app it will pick up where you left off.

The default Android media player has no problems with MP3s, and can natively play MP4, 3GP, M4A, OTA, MKV and TS audio files – but there are some audio formats which can be a little troublesome. Any Android user consumed by music and audiobooks on their smartphone or tablet will sooner or later embark on a search for an audio player that can support their particular requirements. The offerings out there are as varied as individual tastes – for an overview, see our list of the top 5 music players for Android. As far as sheer versatility of supported file formats goes though, here are two candidates worthy of your consideration.

Android smartphones need a better native music player

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The best apps for listening to music on the go / © ANDROIDPIT


Besides MP3s, the PowerAmp music player supports the following formats: MP4; M4A; ALAC; OGG; WMA; FLAC; WAV; APE; WV; and TTA. The extensive functions, the intuitive user interface and the all-round adaptability make this app one of the most popular audio players out there. There’s a free trial version, otherwise the app costs a few dollars.

Poweramp Music Player (Trial)
Install on Google Play

MortPlayer Music

A solid free alternative is MortPlayer Music, which can handle all of the same formats listed above. the team as well get along with the formats listed above, although the playback of FLAC and WMA files is device-dependent.

MortPlayer Music
Install on Google Play

The free B1 Free Archiver opens the following file formats:  7z, apk, a, ar, arj, bz2, bzip2, cab, deb, gz, gzip, jar, iso, lha, lzh, lzma, mtz, rpm, tar, tar.bz2, tbz, tbz2, tar.gz, tgz, tpz, taz, tar.lzma, tar.xz, tar.Z, xap, xar, xz, Z, zipx.

B1 Archiver zip rar unzip
Install on Google Play

If you’re looking for a file manager to open Android archive files, get the AndroZip app. Its design is very clear, allowing users to quickly access their Android archive files to open or encrypt files. The app is also an excellent way to manage Android archive files on the tablet.

AndroZip™ FREE File Manager
Install on Google Play

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