Monday, July 22, 2013

CloudOn - The best app for Microsoft Office on iPad

It seems that my technology time has been mostly spent fiddling with my new iPad mini. Of course, with that comes the need to open, edit, and save Microsoft Office documents. So, here's another app - and it is a cross-platform app, meaning that you can use it whether you have Android or iOS. As a newbie iPad user, I figured that the Apple developers would surely be able to make a decent Microsoft Office app with decent compatibility with the Windows Microsoft Office. So I opened and edited a document using the "Pages" app. Much to my chagrin, the compatibility was horrible, and it ruined the formatting on a table I was editing. This caused me to have to re-write the entire document, because of course it saved over my original, unscathed document.

Unsatisfied with all of the "top 10 apps for Microsoft Office on iPad" lists, I decided to go for the more direct approach. Through a lucky search, I found an app called CloudOn. It is WONDERFUL and I will tell you why. First, I was able to open, edit, and save that same document mentioned previously, but this time with NO compatibility issues. And it was effortless to save back to my DropBox account, unlike the Pages app which required a few un-intuitive, manual steps.

One of the best things about the CloudOn app is that it looks and feels just like Microsoft Word. Here's a screen shot to prove it:
As you can see, it has the familiar "ribbon" navigation at the top. Plus, it improves your keyboard selections to include alternate keys such as CTR, ALT, and all the F-keys!
Also, CloudOn automatically saves your file as you modify it, and you can see an ongoing list of when you made revisions. Plus, you can "track changes" and make in-document annotations, just like you would in Microsoft Office on Windows.

On the left, you see the ongoing list of revisions and annotations. On the right, you see where you can annotate and track changes using the "Review" ribbon.
Also, you can easily access any file in your cloud storage, including popular ones like DropBox and Google Drive.

A screen shot of what it would look like if you were browsing your DropBox through the CloudOn app. No need to hit "save", as CloudOn automatically saves and syncs back to your cloud!
Last, but certainly not least, a great thing about this app is that it is FREE! It does have additional features available if you buy the Pro version. I've only used the app once, so I can't say whether the Pro upgrade is necessary, but I had no problems opening and editing my document in the free version.

This post is just about the Microsoft Office option in the app because that's all that I've used so far. But it was so good that it inspired me to hop on here and write you a blog post about it! It also works with Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint, plus other document types like PDF's. If the rest of the document types are anything like Word, then I guarantee that you will not need any other app for your Microsoft Office document management needs!!

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