…although at 12 million downloads, I appear to be definitely in the minority. One of the reasons why this blog is “Off the Record” is that I give myself the right to change my mind. If you’d like to convince me, go ahead.
I’ve never really been a big user of Office on any platform. My needs are meagre, I would guess, and so never needed a copy to put me over the top. I work interchangeably on Windows, Macintosh, and Ubuntu. It’s important to me that I can exchange among the platforms and, probably the tipping point for me was installing my very first version of Ubuntu. It came with OpenOffice and I never looked back. It was all that I ever needed, at the time, and the LibreOffice fork of the product stays on top of everything.
The only time I strayed away was to investigate Kingsoft‘s office suite. I liked what I saw and will admit to having a copy installed on my computer in addition to LibreOffice.
So, back to the iPad version of Office…
I’ll admit that I was tempted. In fact, I might even go as high as $1.99 to have that functionality! When I found out it was free, I thought…wow!
I’ll admit that I had a hard time finding it in the iTunes store. I was looking in the store for Office but couldn’t find it. After poking around, I finally realized that Word, Excel, and Powerpoint were separate downloads. And, at 259MB for Word alone, that’s quite a download.
But the description stopped me in my pursuit. The download only lets you read for free…you need to have an Office 365 annual subscription to get full functionality. That’s something that I don’t have and not likely to get in the near future. According to the website, the subscription for Office home is $99.99 and $79.99. That’s quite a bit of money to be paying for annually. Perhaps there are 12 million others that find that valuable. Not me.
There are alternatives though.
Increasingly, my documents are stored in Google Drive. As it turns out, Google has a Drive application that does the job nicely. Edits and saves are done right on the document as it’s stored in Drive.
For the local use, I’ve always had a copy of QuickOffice on my iPad. It has the functionality to fully edit documents stored locally or in Google Drive. That’s always been the application that I go to in order to get the job done. Price – free.
But recently, I was looking for something on the Kingsoft website. I had missed it completely and so was pleasantly surprised to see that there was an iOS version in addition to all of their other products. What was really interesting was the cloud support.
And the price was free as well. Plus, it only is 100MB to get all three pieces of office functionality. Check out this recent article from Cnet about Kingsoft. “Kingsoft Office 3.2 for iOS: Better than Microsoft Office?“
As I work with the sort of documents that I use, I find that both QuickOffice and Kingsoft Office do it all. The price is certainly right for the classroom as well. And, if all that you need is word processing, don’t forget Scrawlar.
So, at this point, I will pass on downloading Office for iPad and buying the Office 365 license. It’s your turn now – convince me that I’m wrong.