Move over Angry Birds, Draw Something, and Instagram. There’s a new free-to-use app hitting the
Android Google Play market today and things are about to get productive.
Since the debut of the first touch-based tablet, there has been a race to cram ever more sophisticated functionality into these mobile devices. For many professionals, this has meant a race to deliver a full Microsoft Office experience to tablets.
CloudOn, which debuted for iOS in January and has since garnered millions of downloads and four-and-a-half star reviews in the iTunes App Store, launched its first Android version today. Now even more road warriors have the ability to create, edit, save, and share Microsoft Office and Adobe documents from anywhere (sort of like if someone invented a computer that they could take with them or something).
This is not a stripped down, limited feature set Office imitation like might be expected. Users can access all features including track changes in Word, manipulating pivot tables in Excel and viewing PowerPoint slideshows in full presentation mode from a tablet (sexy stuff I still have nightmares about from my banking days). Additionally, a built in universal image viewer can handle virtually any image file, including the mundane, like PNG, JPEG, and GIF as well as the complex, like 3D Adobe PDF documents and raw Photoshop images.
As part of the Android launch, CloudOn announced integration with Google Drive, in addition to the pre-existing cloud storage options of Dropbox and Box. Users can access and manipulate files saved in the cloud, as well as email them as attachments directly from within the app.
Competitor OnLive launched on Android in March of this year with a nearly identical feature set. Office emulator QuickOffice Pro got a similar upgrade to Drobox integration later that same month. Each aims to offer comparable functionality as CloudOn, but OnLive cost $9.99 per month for a full feature set, while QuickOffice Pro costs $14.99 as a one time purchase. CloudOn CEO Milind Gadekar tells PandoDaily, “CloudOn is free but has plans to monetize in the near future. [We are] committed to always providing a portion of the service for free; therefore, [we] plan to create a freemium model, with the paid portion set up as a monthly subscription.”
The elephant in the room regarding competition is the future involvement of Microsoft in the space. Rumors have swirled for years that Redmond would be releasing native iPad apps for its most popular Office applications. Both the possible existence of such apps, and questions about pricing and the performance of native versus cloud supported functionality, will have an impact on the future success of CloudOn and its competitors. CloudOn was quick to point out that it has established licensing partnerships with both Microsoft and Adobe, which is a more proactive approach than that taken by some of its competitors.
CloudOn is optimized for Android Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablets (version 3.1 and higher). According to figures released by Google in April of this year, which highlighting the version fragmentation plaguing the Android platform, this means that the app is currently available to just 6.2 percent of all Android devices (tablet specific figures were not provided). As tablet adoption grows, however, this percentage is likely to grow significantly.