Mobile

CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to Android tablets, gets Google Drive support

After releasing a major update to its iPad app last month, CloudOn is today bringing its Microsoft Office virtualization technology to Android tablets.

And, going alongside support for cloud storage services Dropbox and Box, the company also announced that it has integrated Google Drive into its Android and iPad apps as well.

Unlike competitor OnLive Desktop, the free CloudOn apps don’t distract you with a full Windows desktop. Instead, the apps offer direct access to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, as well as Adobe Reader for viewing PDF files and a universal picture viewing app. Making up for the confusing file systems in iOS and Android, CloudOn lets you tap into the above cloud services to share and access your docs.

I haven’t had a chance to try out the Android CloudOn app yet, but I was impressed with what I saw of the iPad version last month. CloudOn chief executive Milind Gadekar demonstrated the app  running on a new iPad over Verizon’s LTE 4G network. He was able to open and edit files from Dropbox without issue, and the experience seemed only slightly slower than a typical PC. The CloudOn app lets you use all of the advanced features of Microsoft Office as well, including track changes in Word, and pivot tables in Excel.

Essentially, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based CloudOn is attempting to create a virtual desktop computer. You don’t have to worry about installing and configuring Microsoft Office, and thanks to cloud storage, your files are accessible anywhere you can get an Internet connection. CloudOn and its ilk are a big step for tablets, which need killer productivity apps to evolve from being mere consumption devices.

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