It’s Christmas so a lot of people will be expecting iPads, even if it’s only one of the older versions. While that’s all well and good, what will really make this Christmas special are the apps that go with it. One of the biggest problems to date has been the inability to use Office and Office documents on the iPad. This week however, Google has announced that it will be making Office users’ Christmas dreams come true with iPad access.
Enough with the Christmas cheer though, this is a hard business. While Google and Microsoft may be slugging it out in all kinds of different IT spaces like contacts and calendar management, or slashing at each others knees in data storage pricing, for Office everyone seems to be happy to work together — not that anyone is really expecting them to work together directly; but rather indirectly and through acquisitions.
This announcement, which appears on the Google Enterprise blog this week, says that Google is using the mid year acquisition of Quickoffice to provide users with the ability to edit their Microsoft Office documents on the iPad.
According to the post by Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management at Google Drive, Google has been using the expertise provided by the Quickoffice team to convert them into Google documents, and edit them directly in Quickoffice.
In recent months Quickoffice conversion technology has enabled users to convert existing Word, Excel and PowerPoint files into Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, while still maintaining their appearance and quality.
Google, Quickoffice, iPad
However, Google concedes that not everyone has gone the Google way yet, so now, on top of this Quickoffice functionality, you will be able to make quick edits to Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without conversion and directly from your iPad.
Starting today, the Quickoffice iPad app is available for free to all Apps for Business customers, and iPhone and Android versions are on the way. With the app, you can open and edit any Office files you’ve stored in Google Drive right from your iPad …” says Rochelle.
The result — users should be able to edit documents from any device, whether it’s converting files to Google documents or editing the documents directly. And this isn't the only good news for iPad, or iOS users today, because CloudOn has also announced v3.0 of its mobile App that brings Office to mobile devices.
CloudOn, iPhone, SkyDrive
CloudOn is now available for all of Apples’s mobile devices as well as Android tablets running Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich.
Today’s launch isn't just about support for new devices, though. The company is also introducing support for Microsoft SkyDrive in addition to the already available support for Dropbox, Box and Google Drive.
CloudOn Office for iPhone
CloudOn, while still only a start-up in real terms, already has an iPad app that enables users to edit Office documents there. With today’s release of the new version, users can now do that on the iPhone. While there are other applications that provide users with similar functions, CloudOn says, like Google’s Quickoffice, or even Apple’s iWork programs, this is not the same.
It’s not the same because what users will be working on is actually Office, or Office running on CloudOn servers, which can be accessed as long as your internet is working.
As it is actually Office, it comes with a standard Microsoft Office Ribbon interface and all the commands that you might need accessible through screen keyboards.
It’s been a good day, and week for mobile Office users, but next year promises to be even better.