Whilst there are reports this week that Microsoft has delayed the unveiling of an Office app for iOS and Android devices, it seems that this is not as big a problem as some might make it out to be. The free app CloudOn gives you the three core programs of Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and not only allows you to view files created by these programs, but to edit them and save them to a cloud storage drive for opening on other devices.
The app creates a wireless link between your desktop and mobile device, enhancing your productivity and enabling you to edit and save your documents on your iOS or Android device with no technical know-how required. You will need to have a cloud storage account with one of Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive to enable CloudOn to work and save documents, and the app links seamlessly to the storage folders enabling you to access all your data and quickly edit it.
Navigation around the app and opening files is very simple, and you are given the choice between list, enlarged icon scrolling, or grid pattern layout to navigate through your cloud storage, which can be changed by tapping an icon. Once you are working on a document the app has imported the interface of Office, meaning that you can view the document in exactly the same way you would on a desktop. This is also true when it comes to making a presentation, with CloudOn presenting in full-screen mode, unlike other tablet presentation apps which view in PDF mode. Consequently you do not have to worry about saving your presentation or formatting it in a particular way so that it works on your iPad.
If for any reason you are interrupted whilst editing a document within the app, CloudOn has an autosave feature, so you don’t lose any important changes. You can also refresh the menu, a useful feature if you have colleagues editing documents in the cloud storage account at the same time as you, keeping you up-to-date on any uploads, and giving you access to new drafts.
That said there are a few minor issues with the app. There is a slight keyboard lag with a small delay between typing and the words appearing on screen, which can at times make your typing feel a bit disjointed. The application does not support new images, meaning that while it is possible to see images that are already in the presentations, you cannot add new ones from your device or cloud storage folder.Unfortunately this means that the powerpoint section of the app is best deployed as a review and editing tool rather than for creating full-blown presentations.
- Simple interface, easy to use
- Open and edit all Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents
- Instant cloud storage enabling you to sync documents across your devices
- Keyboard Lag
- Images not supported
ClourOn has the potential to be the go-to app for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents on iOS and Android devices. The simple navigation and desktop interface replication, make editing and saving documents a relatively easy affair and the immediate syncing with your cloud storage account can really enhance your productivity capability. There are a few minor flaws which if ironed out would make CloudOn the complete package. But for a free app you cannot really ask for much more and we see this app being extremely popular.