What's that?

qrcodeLet's talk about the iPad. It's a wonderful gadget, but we're not using it to its full potential.

The iPad's a very nice tool to help with everyday tasksBut we often ask ourselves alot of questions when it comes to purchasing an application in the AppStoreIs it better to pay or download one that is free ... how to compare?

This question is important when trying to find the best productivity suite like a word processoror spreadsheet, or for making presentations.
 

There aren't many solutions available in the AppStore. Especially if you want your documents to be easily compatible with your colleagues or even with your own computer.

I will compare the two biggest players in the productivity suite market: Apple and Microsoft.

Apple products have been available mostly for iDevices and Macs, namely : Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Most recently, Microsoft's products have emerged with OnLive DesktopIt includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) held in Las Vegas in Winter 2012. The app is totally free! But currently only available in the U.S. But I had the chance to try it!

So here is the comparison of two products:

Let's start with Apple

Benefits

It's integrated into the iPad

This means that the application is installed on your iPad. It uses common resources like printers, camera roll, email, web browser.

Very simple to use, very user-friendly

It's fairly simple to integrate and manipulate images and textsYou can easily enhance your photos and images with simple visual effects, or modify a layout just by tapping on predefined templates.

Several templates available

Instead of starting with a blank document, why not use those that are available? They look elegant and professionnal so that you only have to change the content to your needs.

Sending documents by email, even in PDF fromat!

You can write a contract and send it to your customer in record time! And if the
documents should not be editable, you can send it in PDF format.

Wireless printing

If you have an HP, or other wi-fi enabled printer, you can send your documents to the printer without connecting a single cable. Very convenient.

Synchronization between your other iDevices

Apple has created and made available "the iCloud" with version 5 of the iOS operating system You might wonder what is an iCloud. Basically, it is a concept that is trending, the cloud computing.

If you want to know more about what is cloud computing, click here (link will be available soon).

Disadvantages

You need to buy it

It costs $ 9.99US for each product.

Exporting to Word not quite OK.

Because of the differences with fonts and layouts on your iPad and your computer, some adjustments must be done to make it look like the original. It is more an inconvenience than a problem.

Let's talk about OnLive Desktop

Before discussing the advantages and disadvantages, there is an important detail. Word, Excel and Powerpoint from Onlive Desktop is not installed on the iPad, but rather a connection to a server (or virtual computer) with the products installed. You are in control of a remote windows.

Benefits

It's Microsoft

The vast majority of people, companies, governments, use documents in this format. So there is compatibility issue.

Accessible by a PC or MAC

Only by download. If you need to make modifications to the documents, you must upload them back to the server so that they may be accessible to the iPad again, which can also be part of disadvantages.

The documents are in the Cloud

The documents are available from any device having internet access. 

Disadvantages

In English (for now)

For those of you that english is not the only language you master, the interface english only. 

High-speed internet needed

If you have an iPad with a 3G card, this connection is not fast enough to maintain a stable connection. You will also see your data usage explode because of the constant streaming video download. 

You do not have easy access to the document

The documents are always accessible through their website with other deviced (iPad, computer, etc.) but if you make modifications to the downloaded document, you must upload it bake to the website so that it may be accessible to the iPad, which will be quite a hassle. It will reduce your effeciency considerably, which is one of the key benefits of having an iPad.

Product is exclusively in the cloud

Usually, this is an advantage. But in this case, the applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) are also in the cloud. What this means is that if you have no access to wi-fi internet, you will not be able to open OnLive Desktop, given that you are controling a remote virtual computer.

Unable to print (for now)

Since Onlive Desktop is not integrated in the iPad, you don't have access to your resources (photos, music, Internet links, printers).

 


 

The verdict is in

In my honest opinion, Apple's productivity suite offers many more benefits than what OnLive Desktop offers. The balance between Apple's integrated apps and it's iCloud outway by far OnLive Desktops exclusive cloud computing solution. 

I imagine that over time, Onlive Desktop will have improved their product for it to be more integrated into the iPad. With I've read so far, they have a very promising future. Especially if it's still free.

So given that, the winner of this face-off would be the Apple productivity suits, Onlive Desktop must die.

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