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Monday, 26 November 2012

CloudOn - App Review


There are no perfect solutions for sharing your Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint); this is the nearest I have seen so far. This links with Dropbox, as well as box and Google Drive.  The synchronisation is effected via CloudOn's servers and your chosen syncing account. You have to be connected to the Internet in order to use the App.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The contents of your Dropbox are shown as neatly arranged folders and files; a joy to behold. There has clearly been a lot of thought and care that has gone into the interface. Files are neatly ordered by syncing option (such as Dropbox) and then by folder. It is also an absolute doddle to go back to a recently opened file. A small criticism is that, having selected the file you wish to view or modify, it takes a while for the file to appear to be loading; when it does, there is a very pleasing progress bar that keeps you informed. The reason for this time lag is that not only is the App involved but also your Dropbox (or box or Google Drive) connection and the link with CloudOn's servers. Any file you modify is clearly marked as such on your iPad, and you can make annotations so that you can remember what you did; all very useful and elegantly implemented. CloudOn only works in landscape mode which is not really a problem but, you need to be aware of it, before thinking there is something amiss with your iPad, and thinking that maybe your side switch is not functioning.

Cost
This App is currently free but I cannot believe this will continue forever. I suspect that the solution, which includes having a (currently) free CloudOn account to manage the synchronising must become a chargeable option, or it cannot make sense for the developers. They have clearly spent a lot of time (and money) in getting an App that looks and works as well as the very best.

Indispensability
If you need to edit (and not just view) Microsoft Office files then, you need an App and, currently, this is probably the best. The concern might be that this is a 'puppy dog sale'. After becoming reliant on the App, hopefully the price of keeping it will not be unreasonable. Of course, this might just be a case of being overly cautious on my part (once bitten and all that).

Dependability
Apart from the previously mentioned time to load, there are no problems, provided that your localisation (or localization!) is United States. If it is not then some strange things will happen, in particular with dates. The USA uses mm/dd/yyyy, whereas most other countries use dd/mm/yyyy. If you enter the date as dd/mm/yyyy it will be incorrect in a non US formatted document. The workaround is to enter the date as mm/dd/yyyy and all will be fine, it will even display as you had originally intended.

Security
The developer assures us that "none of your files are stored permanently on any of CloudOn’s servers. They are pulled only when you need them, saved back to your original storage provider and then wiped from our system. Your credentials are encrypted using secure hashing technology and all communication between your workspace and our server is secure using 128-bit/256-bit encryption. ". The potential risks with Dropbox have already been covered in the App review.

ACIDS Test Rating:
With the localisation issue resolved, this an absolute 5 (certainly as long as it's free).

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.

You can get CloudOn here and support for the App here.

18 comments:

  1. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 4.1.0 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Stability improvements and bugs fixes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 4.1.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Stability improvements and bugs fixes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 4.1.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Stability improvements and bugs fixes

    ReplyDelete
  4. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.0.0 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • File Sharing gets a facelift - share files directly from CloudOn and discuss any changes with your fellow editors on the shared FileSpace where every edit, action & message is logged automatically. End result - no more searching for files & notes in your inbox.
    • AirPrint makes work "real" - we love the cloud, but sometimes we need a hard copy here on Earth. Enter AirPrint.
    • Your device, your screen, your choice - flip your device anyway you want. We support both landscape and portrait mode on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.
    • Gain mileage for being you - add some info to your Account Profile. You're now attributed as author/owner of documents you create and recognized when you share them with colleagues.
    • There's always room for improvement - better navigation, enhanced stability and fewer bugs.
    • Support for the latest and greatest - fully compatible with iOS 7.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.0.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • File Sharing gets a facelift - share files directly from CloudOn and discuss any changes with your fellow editors on the shared FileSpace where every edit, action & message is logged automatically. End result - no more searching for files & notes in your inbox.
    • AirPrint makes work "real" - we love the cloud, but sometimes we need a hard copy here on Earth. Enter AirPrint.
    • Your device, your screen, your choice - flip your device anyway you want. We support both landscape and portrait mode on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.
    • Gain mileage for being you - add some info to your Account Profile. You're now attributed as author/owner of documents you create and recognized when you share them with colleagues.
    • There's always room for improvement - better navigation, enhanced stability and fewer bugs.
    • Support for the latest and greatest - compatible with iOS 7.
    • Stability improvements as bug fixes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.0.4 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • File Sharing gets a facelift - share files directly from CloudOn and discuss any changes with your fellow editors on the shared FileSpace where every edit, action & message is logged automatically. End result - no more searching for files & notes in your inbox.
    • AirPrint makes work "real" - we love the cloud, but sometimes we need a hard copy here on Earth. Enter AirPrint.
    • Your device, your screen, your choice - flip your device anyway you want. We support both landscape and portrait mode on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.
    • Gain mileage for being you - add some info to your Account Profile. You're now attributed as author/owner of documents you create and recognized when you share them with colleagues.
    • There's always room for improvement - better navigation, enhanced stability and fewer bugs.
    • Support for the latest and greatest - compatible with iOS 7.
    • Stability improvements as bug fixes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.0.5 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • More access to all your files - Now supporting Hightail & Deutsche Telekom Mediencenter (Germany)!
    • Simplified file sharing - Easily share files even if your team members are using different devices or storage providers.
    • Support for the latest and greatest - compatible with iOS 7.
    • Squashed some bugs and enhanced stability.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Quicker, more relevant info in shared folders: now shows number of editors and when file was shared
    • Usability enhancement to FileSpace: now scrolls directly to newly posted comments

    ReplyDelete
  9. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 5.4 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    * Minor improvements.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.0 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Our biggest update yet (for iPad users)! Light, speedy new design feels great!
    • Review changes and comments quickly with the new FileSpace panel
    • Find files instantly with the new Search feature
    • Quick navigation to Recent, Shared files, and Storage providers
    • Major update for iPhone users coming soon!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Bug fixes and stability enhancements

    ReplyDelete
  12. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Collaborate on documents! Invite people to co-edit and discuss your doc, with the Add People feature
    • Send copies of docs via email, with the option of including an attachment. (We heard you!)
    • Easily add co-editors and device contacts with the autocomplete recipient feature

    ReplyDelete
  13. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.2.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Bug fixes and stability enhancements
    • Including: Fix to the worksheet tabs bug

    ReplyDelete
  14. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.2.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Bug fixes and stability enhancements

    ReplyDelete
  15. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Bug fixes and stability enhancements

    ReplyDelete
  16. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 6.3.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Bug fixes and stability enhancements
    • Fix to iPhone layout

    ReplyDelete
  17. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 7.0.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    We have made a bunch of improvements for the new ipad app:
    • The app launches much faster, like a rocket!
    • Send docs now directly from local storage
    • Tighter integration with Box (round-trip editing from Box app)
    • New, easier-to-manage handles for extending text selections
    • Several improvements to reading docs from your browser
    • Fixed issues with adding and deleting people when sharing a doc
    • Many other bug fixes and stability enhancements you'll love

    ReplyDelete
  18. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 7.0.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • The app launches much faster, like a rocket!
    • Send docs now directly from local storage
    • Tighter integration with Box (round-trip editing from Box app)
    • New, easier-to-manage handles for extending text selections
    • Several improvements to reading docs from your browser
    • Fixed issues with adding and deleting people when sharing a doc
    • Many other bug fixes and stability enhancements you'll love

    ReplyDelete

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