EDIT: upon further usage (read: real world, every day, on a variety of networks with varying speeds) I have come to the conclusion that CloudOn is NOT a viable productivity tool. There’s just too much lag. For very minor editing, and/or viewing it’s fine. But even for that there are many better alternatives, though most of them aren’t free like CloudOn.
If you’ve not checked out CloudOn iTunes Link, you’re a big DropBox user (or thinking of becoming one) and like to be productive on the iPad, then CloudOn is an app you must explore.
Put simply, it’s Office for the iPad. And it actually works pretty well. Surprisingly so in fact. I’m still exploring it myself, and getting used to the mouseless convention of using office apps on the iPad, but…wow.
Apparently what they’re doing is hosting Microsoft Office in the cloud and allowing custom access via the app. They’ve baked DropBox into the app for the file system, and you need an Internet connection to use it all.
If you’ve followed my exploits and efforts to use the iPad Alone, then you know that as much as I’ve explored Quick Office and the like, I’ve stuck with my iWork/Dropbox/dropDAV solution for some time now. It works pretty well, and there’s only one step in the process (saving files from iWork back into Dropbox) that feels like a workaround.
With CloudOn, I finally have an alternative that I may actually prefer. Time will tell, but so far so good.
The only wrinkle are the rumors, reignited of late, that Microsoft itself is working on Office for the iPad. To be honest I’m shocked that it hasn’t appeared already. And if Microsoft does it right (and I’ll discuss that some other time) then it’ll be a no brainer. That said, CloudOn raises the bar. If Microsoft was planning on some stripped down experience, they can pretty much forget it. CloudOn feels more like Office on my iPad since, well, Office on my Mac.
Check it out!