There is currently much speculation about expected Microsoft Office applications that will run on iPad devices, but in the meantime, there is a cloud-based solution that allows you to run Microsoft Office on your device for free.
CloudOn is currently free to download, and has become a recent addition to the UK AppStore after its U.S. release. Proving popular across the pond, the team is currently working on making the application available for users in multiple countries.
The cloud-based app, which delivers full Microsoft Office capabilities with Dropbox integration, transforms the iPad into a mobile workspace capable of accessing, creating, editing and saving all of your Office documents while on the go.
CloudOn operates by using cloud technology to connect to Microsoft Office software on CloudOn's servers; which allows users to create and access Microsoft Office documents using a familiar interface.
The features the app offers include:
Opening files directly from an email or Dropbox account on the iPad
Inserting formulae in Excel workbooks
Display and edit transitions in PowerPoint presentations
Automatically save documents to avoid losing changes
Chart creation and editing of any Word, Excel or Powerpoint file
One of the main reasons this app may appeal to students is that Dropbox is used as the file source -- which is a popular method of storage students tend to use. However, in order to use the app, you must have an account with Dropbox, or be willing to sign up for one after downloading CloudOn.
Everything created within CloudOn is automatically added to your Dropbox account, so there is no requirement to manually synchronize your folders.
The navigation -- such as accessing different menu items quickly -- can take some getting used to. As a cloud-based environment application, you must also be connected to the Internet (either 3G or Wifi) to access and edit your documents.
As a means to casually update Word, Excel or Powerpoint files on the go for free, it's certainly an app to look in to while we wait to see what Microsoft may release in terms of iPad support. If you're running up to campus and need to make a few rapid changes or do a quick spellcheck, as a free download, it could be a handy application.