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Cloud-based Office Suites for iOS


Microsoft PowerPoint on an iPad
Courtesy Microsoft

Click here to return to the beginning of the Best Office Suite for iOS series.

Whether you are fully invested in cloud solutions or embrace more of a hybrid cloud philosophy, your office suite solution for iOS is an important decision.

Accessing an office suite program housed on a remote server is a great option, but keep in mind, this requires a download speed of at least 1 megabit per second must be available for many cloud computing sites (wi-fi hot spot users beware). Even then, outages may occasionally occur.

Explore the alternative: traditional, non-cloud office suites for iOS

Microsoft's Office 365 and iOS

As a reminder, although Microsoft's Office 365 can be used on some iOS devices, the actual Word, Excel, and PowerPoint office suite apps, are not available. The OneNote app is available, however, and allows you to work on the go, then sync back to your PC or Mac desktop or laptop later.

This misses the full point in utilizing a cloud office suite solution, but serves as a nice way to test the waters a bit, if you are used to Microsoft Office and would like to test the cloud computing waters.

Strongest 2012 Cloud-Based Office Suites for iOS

Here are my office suite suggestions for cloud-based productivity on your iOS device:

  • Microsoft Office Web Apps:These are versatile apps since they can be used on or off the cloud. Expect a simplified experience to the full version of Microsoft Office suite.

  • OnLive: Access both a degree of Windows desktop functionality and full Windows versions of Microsoft Office Suite.

  • CloudOn: This was one of the first solutions for iOS productivity. Syncing with Dropbox, CloudOn offers a more complete Windows desktop. The tradeoff is it also offers a more pared-down version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • rollApp: Offers Open Office programs for iOS, also utilizing Dropbox.

  • LogMeIn: Remotely access your home computer's desktop from your iOS device. This solution requires coordination of logins, settings, and hookups. The free version does not offer file transfer, but you can get a separate, free app for that.

  • Google Docs: Now featuring Google Drive for iOS, users no longer have to battle with pressing the Refresh periodically to initiate syncing. This makes collaboration much smoother, resulting in a stronger office productivity product.

Additional solutions are anticipated from major software developers. Stay current by linking to my blog on facebook or twitter.

BUYING QUESTION 2. Would You Prefer Interface Features or Compatibility?

Click here to return to the beginning of the Best Office Suite for iPad series.

Microsoft is still the world's productivity suite leader, so compatibility usually refers back to how well an alternative program works with Microsoft Office Suite.

The general tradeoff in office suites for iOS is, compatibility vs. complexity. The simpler the non-Microsoft program, the more compatible it tends to be because there is less room for disagreement.

· Most Interested in Feature-focused iOS Office Suites

· Most Interested in Compatibility-focused iOS Office Suites

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