May 9, 2012
The cloud-based service for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents and viewing Adobe Reader files, CloudOn, is now on Android tablets after an iPad-exclusive run. This app lets users work in a real Microsoft Office environment on their tablets by connecting to the free CloudOn service. So Word documents can be edited in an actual version of Microsoft Word, spreadsheets in real Excel, and presentations in true PowerPoint, with the software running on CloudOn‘s remote servers. As well, CloudOn boasts one of the most robust PDF viewing experiences on mobile, with its cloud-based technology able to view even PDF files with embedded 3D modelling, unlike most if not all mobile PDF readers.
CloudOn can also boast that they have aleays been properly licensed, unlike competing solution OnLive Desktop, which had its recent issues with licensing. All files are saved to and are loaded from cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Box, making it easy to access finished or in-progress work seamlessly from any computer. Appropriately enough, Google Drive is supported in the Android launch of CloudOn.
As far as usability goes, it’s virtually identical to the iPad version, and the same user account will work between versions. Unlike OnLive Desktop, this is meant to be more of a native device experience than using a remote Windows computer. So, the app tries to hide the Windows experience underneath as much as it can. Scrolling works as a user would expect it to on a touchscreen, and text selection feels native as well. Right-clicking is available by tapping and holding on the screen. While the Android software keyboard does work with CloudOn, unlike the ineffective remote keyboard in OnLive Desktop, built-in autocorrect does not work, so users should take care when typing. Asus Transformer keyboard dock users should be at an advantage, as well as hardware keyboard users. Interested users can download CloudOn now for free for Google Play, though it is currently only for tablets.