CloudOn review (so far)
Today, I was browsing a few app sites and found a pretty intriguing (and free) app called CloudOn for the iPad. Here's the description from the official iTunes App Store:
For the first time you can get Microsoft Office® on your iPad. Seriously.
CloudOn lets you use your iPad to create, view, and edit files directly in Microsoft Word®, Excel® & PowerPoint®. These applications will work the way you expect them to, and your files will look the way you want them to.
Want more? Of course you do!
CloudOn also lets you use Dropbox to manage your files. Open them, edit them, and save them right in your workspace using your Dropbox account.
With the ability to access, edit and store your information, CloudOn is the essential productivity tool for your iPad.
* IMPORTANT INFORMATION *
To use CloudOn you must have a Dropbox account. To sign up for free, visit Dropbox - Simplify your life. Or, you can sign up when you launch CloudOn for the first time.
CloudOn’s WorkSpace allows you to:
-Use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your iPad to create or edit documents.
-Rename, delete and manage documents with your Dropbox account
-Display, edit or create charts, change formatting, spell check, insert comments, into any Word, Excel or PowerPoint files
-Track changes while reviewing Word documents
-Use pivot tables and insert formulas in Excel workbooks
-Display and edit animation or transitions in PowerPoint presentations
-Present in full PowerPoint mode (not in PDF)
-Open files directly from your iPad email accounts or Dropbox account
-Automatically save documents to avoid losing changes
- Microsoft Office® 2010
- Manage and access files via Dropbox
- Open Word, Excel and Powerpoint files from the iPad® email client"
Now, the first thing that caught my attention was the "You can get Microsoft Office on your iPad" statement. We all know that countless paid apps exist (Documents to Go, Quickoffice Pro, etc.) that mimic Microsoft Office, but they're pricey and aren't guaranteed to work flawlessly with the real Office. This app claims that a user can create and edit new Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) in the app, save the documents to Dropbox, and then open/modify them in standard Office software. Since I have a free Dropbox account, I figured I'd give CloudOn a whirl - for zero dollars, what did I have to lose?
I first created a "Test" document in CloudOn, typed a few sentences, and then saved it to my Dropbox. I then went to my MacBook and opened "Test" using Microsoft Word 2011 - so far, so good. (I will add that the standard font for CloudOn (at least in Word) is Calibri, but that's no big deal.) After adding some sentences to "Test," I saved it to my Dropbox from my Mac and went to open it in CloudOn. For some reason, the sentences didn't save, so that puzzled me. I went back to my Mac and saved the modified document as "Test 2.0" - that worked fine. I have to add that the "Word" on CloudOn seems very similar to Microsoft's version, right down to the ribbon at the top of the page. The keyboard/page balance is great, too. So far, I'm impressed with Word on CloudOn.
Next was the real test for me: PowerPoint. Again, I created a "Test" powerpoint presentation in CloudOn and added a few features that I would have used in the Word version. Again, I was surprised at how many features appear in the CloudNow slide creator, including the ribbon and the ability to view the show! I saved the slide in Dropbox, went to my Microsoft PowerPoint on my Mac, opened it, and - presto! It appeared just the way I had created it in CloudOn. I imagine I'd have to save it as "version 2" like I did with the Word document, but that's no problem for me - not as long as it works!
I'm not going to try Excel yet, but I imagine the same rules apply.
So far, I'm VERY impressed with what this app can do, especially considering the fact it's FREE. I want to try opening some of my already-created Word and PowerPoint documents using the app, but I don't anticipate any huge difficulties with that. If anything else comes up while using it, I'll update this review. For now, though, give it a shot and let me (and everyone else) know what you think.
CloudOn - link to iTunes AppStore