Remote Document Viewer and Editor CloudOn Makes Its Way to Android Tablets

Remote Document Viewer and Editor CloudOn Makes Its Way to Android Tablets

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.

CloudMagic Review

CloudMagic Review

Feb 22, 2012

What CloudMagic aspires to do is to help bring together the various cloud services that we use. The app, which recently just released, allows users to link a Google account (with support for Google Apps accounts) and a Twitter account, in order to index emails, contacts, calendars, and more, to make them universally searchable from one interface. So, typing in a certain search term will show relevant emails, calendar events, contacts, and recent tweets matching that search entry.

For example, I linked together multiple Google accounts and my Twitter account, then I did a search for “GDC” and the results were as expected. It showed all the results for GDC in my email inboxes. It searched my calendars for my GDC events. Most impressively, it did a search through only my Twitter contacts that I follow for tweets about GDC. I cannot stress how important and useful that last sentence is. Twitter search is such a mess, and having something that turns up relevant results from the people that I follow is worth keeping this tool around alone, never mind the Google integration.

In fact, the key drawback to CloudMagic at this time is the fact that it only integrates in Google and Twitter. For someone who uses both, this is fantastic, but for other email/contacts/calendar service users, it’s somewhat lacking. Facebook and Google+ would be useful services to integrate, as the commentary from people on those services could be useful in finding relevant social data. Twitter searching can only go back so far, likely due to Twitter limits, although it can easily find self-posted tweets and direct messages containing the search term. As well, having Google-esque searcheengine operators would help make the app far more useful. I’d love to search through Dropbox files to find relevant information as well.

While CloudMagic has a long way to go to be something all-encompassing, its current implementation is very useful for users of Google and Twitter. It even manages to out-Google Google in its universal search of Google services, something that Android surprisingly lacks. This is a very useful tool for Android owners.