There are a number of Office compatible office suites to choose from in the app store, so anything that wants to stand out from the crowd needs to offer something special. After a brief appearance followed by a rapid vanishing act, CloudOn for iPad has returned to the App Stor, though for the moment it's on the US App Store only. The site lets you sign up to hear news of when it comes to other countries.
What makes this app different from any of the other suites you could choose to install? Well, not only is it free of charge, but the suite is not only Office-compatible, it is a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s flagship suite.
The app integrates with Dropbox which is used to store all of your documents, and you have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The app interface is almost exactly the same as using the desktop version of Office, but working with an on-screen keyboard is vastly different to typing in the usual way. It is unlikely that you will want to use the app for extended periods of typing, but the ability to review existing documents and make changes to spreadsheets, presentations and text documents in a familiar environment is big news.
CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to iPad users completely free of charge
While CloudOn is a great tool, it suffers from the same problem as any cloud-based app. The stuttering launch of the app just goes to highlight the failing of working with software and services that are not remotely installed – overwhelming demand, server issues and other problems could make it impossible to access your files so, in the early stages of OnCloud’s life it might be advisable to avoid using it for anything that is mission-critical.
The cloud-based nature of CloudOn also works in its favour as it greatly simplifies the process of transferring files from your iPad to your Mac or PC – just log into your Dropbox account and your files will be immediately available. The documents you are working on are saved and synchronized automatically so the latest version of files is always available on Dropbox. Many users will have privacy concerns about the fact that the CloudOn app so it might be advisable to avoid using it for sensitive files, but until an official iPad version of Microsoft Office this is a pretty decent tool.
You can find out more and download a free copy of the app by paying a visit to the CloudOn review page.
This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk