When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Right now I’m struggling with the decision to get a new MacBook Air or just buy an iPad (mine was stolen last year!). Honestly the major deterrent for me is simply wanting to wait until the latest versions of each come out this year. But when they both do, I’ll still be left with the decision to get one or the other.*
There are really only two reasons I need a real computer these days: documents and videos. Everything esle – cloud storage, photos, internet, wordpress – works fine on the iPad (I would never say flawlessly when talking about technology).
Yesterday The Wall Street Journal published Walt Mossberg’s review and video testimonial for OneLive’s cloud-based Microsoft Office for the iPad. I actually sneaked out loud when I saw the headline. He states,
“OnLive Desktop is a cloud-based app. That means it doesn’t actually install Office on your iPad. It acts as a gateway to a remote server where Windows 7, and the three Office apps, are actually running. You create an account, sign in, and Windows pops up on your iPad, with icons allowing you to launch Word, Excel or PowerPoint….In my tests, the Office apps launched and worked smoothly and quickly, without any noticeable lag, despite the fact that they were operating remotely.”
But as we would expect, he reports it’s not perfect.
- You can’t access/Use them without an internet connection (so they don’t work on a plane)
- The virtual keyboard is frustrating to use for long documents.
- They don’t guarantee the service will always be available for you.
- To access the files you’ve created, you need a computer.
- The programs can’t be used to open documents sent to you via email.
“Overall, I found OnLive Desktop to be a notable technical achievement, but it has so many caveats that it’s best for folks who absolutely, positively need to use the full, genuine versions of the three big Office productivity programs on their iPads. For everyone else, the locally installed Office clones are probably good enough, and simpler to use.”