Review: OnLine Desktop (MS Office) app
Rated: 5 of 5, but with serious limitations!
Released: Jan 13, 2012
Size: 4.8 MB
This is a new product that is trying to compete with the crowded MS OFFICE product market (apps that try to emulate MS OFFICE functionality). This product goes above and beyond the other products, which are usually highly limited in their functionality in that it offers you access to the FULL range of MS OFFICE functionality.
It allows you to run a full fledged version of MS Office from an iPad. It's free, but you have to sign up via a desktop/laptop internet connection to gain access to it or to access it's functionalities. It's a great little app, that offers a lot of functionality previous unavailable on the iPad, but it also has some serious limitations.
I'm a writer, thus I spend much of my time corroborating with editors. I really need a tool that will allow us to all use the "Review" feature in MS WORD to mark, flag and comment on the text. None of the existing MS document tools allow you to do that. You can read a marked up document, but you can't do the marking up, nor can you search for the next flagged item.
The new app handles these excellently, but there are fairly severe limitations. The product doesn't work with any other product, so you can't use Dropbox or e-mail an Office document to yourself or anyone else. You have to go onto a Windows or Apple desktop and "load" the documents you want to access. It looks like they're hoping to use the editing function to push their own "Cloud" functionality (doesn't everyone, now?). However, I've got a group of people on various devices (Windows, Apple, Linux, Android and iOS) who aren't all up to the same technological level. (I have a hell of a time talking them through the Review function on non-MS word processor programs).
The idea that I've got to talk a bunch of writers/editors to agree to use a single produce on a single device that's tied to specific software on specific desktops is asking for a bit much. It would have been easier if they'd done like all the other OFFICE products that accept Office documents, but it only accepts files using their own cloud uploading service. As such it's a useless product except for a single writer writing his own document, thus it really isn't much different than all the other products already on the market.
So, if you need it to create Office documents on your own, and you're willing to load each and every document you wish to edit from another platform, then this is an excellent product. But for anyone else, I'd suggest waiting until they make this product more useful.