CloudOn provides free Microsoft Office document viewing, editing, and creating capabilities for iPad owners by making use of cloud-based storage and computing. Through the release of CloudOn for iOS v2.0, CloudOn members can now share files, utilize a second online storage service, and view more file types.
Even though CloudOn could have implemented their own file storage and backup system, they chose to have members link to Dropbox accounts instead. This approach allows users to continue with a service they may have already been using and not require duplicate uploads. As of v2.0, CloudOn offers the same convenience for people who’ve chosen Box, formerly Box.net, as their preferred online storage provider.
The next addition to come along is the ability to share files from within the CloudOn app. While you could mess around with sharing files through Dropbox or Box’s sharing options, CloudOn make it simpler with built-in email support. To create a new message with the file attached, either use the Action button, which is located next to the Refresh button, or the Edit menu, displayed with a tap and hold on any file.
Lastly, CloudOn v2.0 is capable of opening more common file types. Beyond Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, CloudOn now supports Photoshop and PDF files, plus GIF, JPEG, PNG, and most other image formats. My one gripe would be performance, image zooming and scrolling are choppy. However, non-Office files aren’t CloudOn’s focus and the issue will likely be fixed in a maintenance update.
Here are the reasons why CloudOn feels they’re the top choice:
- It’s not Windows! — Using a remote Windows desktop on an iPad is like listening to the radio on an iPod Touch. While remote desktop virtualization has worked as a make-shift solution to access Office documents on an iPad in the past, there’s no comparison to an app that is custom-made for the device it’s running on.
- Fully optimized for the iPad — Windows is not made for the iPad, resulting in a clunky, awkward experience that detracts from the iPad’s intuitive and gestures-based layout and design. With CloudOn, you get everything custom-made for a gestures based tablet experience, including the native iPad keyboard, and specifically designed to improve efficiency and productivity.
- The company is 100% devoted to productivity — CloudOn only does productivity, not games. We have new features in 2.0 to show you how we’ve made it easier and more efficient for users to be productive, including seamless integration with multiple cloud storage providers, quick and easy registration and set up, and quick and easy in-app email features.
- It’s 100% licensed, legal, and transparent
- It’s FREE
CloudOn is compatible with iPad running iOS 4.2 or later, and is available in the App Store as a free download. Use of the CloudOn iPad app requires a free CloudOn account, as well as free or paid membership with Dropbox or Box.