One of the problems encountered by longtime desktop users, when it comes to migrating their work to tablets, is the fact that there’s no real support for MS Office on the mobile devices. There have been efforts to create apps that can open the documents, but using them as effectively as MS Office is an entirely different thing.
For iPad users, the problem has been solved by CloudOn, which lets users run cloud-hosted versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, and Powerpoint on their iPads. Android users on the other hand, have no such options. Well, that recently changed with CloudOn’s recent move to add support for Android Tablets as well.
All of this means that Android Tablet users can now access and edit MS Office documents on their devices using CloudOn, and save the documents to their accounts on other cloud storage networks, such as Google Drive, DropBox, and Box.
CloudOn works by running actual Windows applications on remote servers, and streaming slightly tweaked (optimized for touchscreen controls) versions of the UI to a tablet device via the net. Since this method uses the actual application, there is no risk of encountering problems with file format or version conflicts, unlike third party apps that only provide support for the file formats after the fact. This is also an advantage for non-desktop users who want to access or create MS Office formatted files without actually buying a copy of the Office suite.
CloudOn also provides support for Adobe PDF files and contains a universal image viewer, which makes for a complete suite of office applications. Unlike its competitors OnLive Desktop and Nivio, CloudOn doesn’t recreate the Windows Desktop, and instead provides access to apps via CloudOn’s own Spartan Home Screen. It may require a little bit of getting used to, but in the long run, it will be better as the Spartan Home Screen is optimized for touch screen controls, compared with Windows Desktop, which may be a bit unwieldy for touchscreen devices.
CloudOn’s Android support extends to 3.1 “Honeycomb” and 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”. and is currently provided free at Google Play. You may want to get it now while it’s still free to use, as CloudOn pays Microsoft for offering the apps on a hosted basis, so it’s expected that they will eventually want to charge for the service, unless they have plans to do an ad supported model or have very deep pockets and even deeper hearts.
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