Over the past two days there has been talk of Microsoft coming out with a version of Office for the iPad in 2012. I for one would happily purchase the Excel part of this package, assuming the price point is similar to that of Apple’s Numbers app at $9.99 USD.
If, like me, you started with Excel and then tried Numbers. Well, it’s unique. And not Excel.
I have the Documents To Go Premium – Office Suite universal app for the iPad and iPhone that works with Excel files, but this Premium version is required to support file sharing and costs $16.99 USD. It works okay and I use it when necessary. But it’s not Excel.
So I have high hopes for an Excel app on the iPad that does lots of wonderful things.
The gold standard for Microsoft Excel is the latest Windows version, Excel 2010, and the gold standard for tablets is the iPad. The OnLive Desktop App brings them together.
If you love Microsoft Excel and have an iPad, then this app is for you. I could go on and on and on about what a great combination these are, but I won’t. Instead I’ll give you an overview and let you rush right out and experience it for yourself.
The OnLive Desktop is an iPad only app that’s free in the iTunes App Store. Download the app, then sign up for a free account, and you get 2 GB of online storage.
Once you launch the app and sign in to your account, a remote Windows desktop appears. You not only get the full version of Microsoft Excel 2010, but also Office 2010, with PowerPoint and Word.
You can create files from your iPad and save them to your online account. You can also upload files from your computer to your online account, then access and edit them from your iPad.
The Windows desktop comes with some other features that are nice to play around with, but what strikes me is how easy it is to use Excel on the iPad. It’s far and away the best user experience with Excel on the iPad, or any spreadsheet on the iPad.
Anyway I’ve said too much already. You’ll have to try this out for yourself just to believe how truly amazing it is. I’ll leave you with a few screenshots to whet your appetite.
OnLive App iPad Screen Shots
Yes, that’s right, OnLive Desktop has to use a non-iPad keyboard. But that’s not a deal-breaker.
Since you’re accessing a remote Windows desktop, you would think there’s a big delay between your actions and the program’s response. Not so, it’s really is very quick.
One caveat is that with the free account you may experience a delay in connecting to the remote desktop if the servers are busy. Premium accounts (people that pay money) get priority on connectivity. I experienced a couple of slight delays in my tests before I was allowed to connect. A minor inconvenience for me.
Nevertheless this whole experience is free and damn well worth the effort to check it out. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.