iPad might be the most popular tablet in the world, but there are certain things that just aren’t meant to be for iOS. One such thing is the Office suite by Microsoft, which, despite being the most popular documentation tool in use, does not have an iOS version. Nevertheless, the huge number of apps present in the App Store ensures that users have some good alternatives available for the original Office. CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to the iPad, allowing you to edit and compose Office documents, view PDF and image files & upload your work with Dropbox, Google Drive & Box. While using the app, you are likely to feel that you are using Word, Excel or PowerPoint on your PC rather than on a mobile device, thanks to the stark similarities in interface. Update: The app is now available for Android tablets as well.
To get things started, you have to sign up for CloudOn. The app is named so because it relies heavily on the infamous cloud storage service, Dropbox. There are two steps to creating an account. First, you have to provide your email address to CloudOn and choose a new login password. Once you have done that, you will be asked to link your Dropbox account with the app (don’t worry if you haven’t got one, the app has the option to let you create one during the sign up procedure). When all is done, you are free to start using the app, which starts off with a short tutorial regarding the usage of CloudOn. If you want to open any Office file on your iPad, you can do so by uploading it to your Dropbox, and then accessing it via the app.
The most useful aspect of CloudOn is its ability to let users create new documents. When you tap the New button in the top bar, there are three choices you are presented with. You can start working on a Word doc, make a PowerPoint presentation, or begin a new Excel sheet. The Word section is amazingly similar to the desktop version of the word processor. All the options are the same, and are even laid out almost in exact order. The keyboard which pops up, has the function keys added to it in the top row, to give an even more Office-like experience. The same statements hold true for PowerPoint, which will let you do anything which can be done via the desktop tool.
For creating data sheets, the Excel section is perfect, and has the full arsenal of features you normally associate with MS Excel. All files you create using CloudOn will be saved in Dropbox, and Autosave is supported as well. The most awesome part? You can get the app for free, simply by heading to the download link given below!
Update 1: The app is now available for Android tablets as well, and can be downloaded from the following link.
Update 2: CloudOn has arrived on the iPhone. The app’s phone version lets you create and manage Office files but also has a few additional features. The most prominent of these is ‘Reading mode’, which strips the document of all bells and whistles to let users read in a lightweight environment.
The app can be download from the App Store link already provided in this post.