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CloudOn 3.0 brings Microsoft Office to iPhone, optimizes for iPad Mini and Nexus 7 with SkyDrive integration

News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday December 19, 2012.

software news · andrew kameka

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CloudOn became a popular productivity app among Apple iPad and Android tablet users because of its solid replication of the desktop experience for Microsoft Office. The virtual workspace is designed for tablets, but includes many of the features users expect when creating documents in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. CloudOn today announced that it delivering a new experience designed for the iPhone, and adding new features as it optimizes for other tablets.

iPhone users can finally use CloudOn to read, create, or edit Word documents. The app was available for the iPad and useful because it was accessed on a large screen, but the inclusion of phones makes it possible to access anywhere. The challenge for CloudOn is that it attempts to apply the same strategy of familiarity to the smartphone, so it's tougher to bring the Office design and experience to a small screen.

When I asked CloudOn CEO Milind Gadekar if he worries that users will not act as favorably to a traditional model being packed into a small screen rather than a mobile-first mindset, Gadekar countered that it's actually the opposite. CloudOn brings the most popular features that users want but still makes it accessible on a smartphone. The iPhone app has a custom ribbon that is formatted to make touch controls comfortable for users trying to adjust font sizes or create tables. Space is at a premium once the keyboard appears on screen, but the app has been designed to strike a balance between features and speed.

CloudOn's latest update also makes the app compatible with other devices. CloudOn now works with any Android tablet running Android 3.1 or later, including Android 4.1 tablets. The app has been optimized to ensure compatibility with smaller-screens like the iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7.

Aside from extending its reach to new devices, CloudOn also added the following features:

- SkyDrive integration to open and save files from their online storage. Similar features were already in place for Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

- FileSpace is a new section of the app that can track a particular file. It reveals a change log of edits, shows real-time updates, and can add notes providing additional details.

- Notes is a new way to add context or highlight something about a document. The iPhone app can share notes with designated collaborators as well.

Download CloudOn for Android / CloudOn for iOS

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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