As the iPad redefines computing as we used to know it, users want more. Why can’t we work on our Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and our Excel spreadsheets on our iPads? For all who may have asked such a question, there’s now an app. OnLive Desktop is a free app that brings a level of Microsoft Office functionality to the iPad. Okay, so it’s not perfect because, it isn’t technically Microsoft Office installed on the iPad. But for those who need such computing on the go, OnLive Desktop is a pretty good stand-in. Users will be able create a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Notepad file, or log on to a previously created file. Those who work with long documents will note that the on-screen keyboard is cumbersome, which is why a Bluetooth keyboard is highly recommended.
Meanwhile there’s also CloudOn which has some of the same functions but it’s not as complete as OnLive – though OnLive is not as complete as Microsoft Office on a PC. Yes, it’s complicated. In both cases documents are stored in the “Cloud” rather than on the device. OnLive documents are stored on a server while CloudOn’s are stored in Dropbox. Access is granted after logging on to the Internet, which means that they are both useless in offline situations such as in planes or other Wi-Fi free spaces. Plus they’re susceptible to speed issues. And before working on a previously created file in OnLive, you should have uploaded it from your PC. So in both cases, it’s not really like having a PC. Of the two, OnLive is better for not limiting your session, for more seamless PowerPoint handling, and overall for the ability to read “handwriting” from either a stylus or a finger.