As we all know, the office has left the cubicle and migrated into our digital devices, including our iPhone and iPads. College students, business people, and even casual users often have the need to edit Microsoft Office docs from the convenience and touch screen beauty of their iPad.
Office² HD for iPad provides a host of features and syncing options to keep you in the work cycle. It handles Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with utmost grace. While I, personally, wouldn’t use this app as the primary way to create docs it’s still a very useful app to have – it’s better to look at it as a companion piece of software for your desktop Office programs. So lets check out why I find Office² HD a useful companion to your computer.
Getting started with Office² HD is quite simple in nature. Simply provide the material to edit and load into the program. There are a few ways to import these docs into the app. The first is from your email – you can click on the attachment in an email program and click open in Office² HD.
Also, you could use iTunes on your computer to load the documents into the program. The third is syncing. We will dive right into that a little later. Once you have your material loaded, you are ready to rock-n-roll!
Always make sure your documents are converted to Microsoft Office formats. (i.e. Doc, DocX, PPT, and XLS)
Features & Performance
When it comes to any special features, there are no standouts. As far as the basics, they are all there. The Word documents are editable and you can choose from a few different styles and font choices. Excel documents have a few different components from the desktop version.
You can do basic mathematics in the document and most of the basics, however, there are not as many features in the program as compared to the desktop version. I’d have to say that it’s fine for the basics and not a great deal more. The program can be relatively sluggish, and sometimes surprisingly non-responsive – I was really expecting a little more. Later we’ll take a look at how it compares with DocsToGo.
If you have your documents stored on cloud services, you can use the cloud syncing services built into the application. You can sync with all of the following services:
- Google Docs
- Other WebDav services
Look under the add services tab to choose your service, login, and choose your docs. There is a major minus or downside to this “syncing” service. There is really no syncing going on with this app.
It merely downloads the document for you to use. You cannot click save and have it save back on the online service. This, to me, is a major problem with this part of the app. You would have to email or offload the document to your computer and upload the new version back onto the service.
Office² HD vs DocsToGo
DocsToGo is a perfect competitor to Office² HD. The user interface of DocsToGo is far superior to Office² HD. It is cleaner, simpler, and more usable. Speed as compared to Office² HD is noticeably faster.
Excel docs appear more like the desktop app and are easier to edit in DocsToGo than in Office² HD.
The problem you face with syncing in Office² HD and the ability not to be able to save a version back to the online service really gives DocsToGo an edge; as DocsToGo syncs and saves back to the online service. This would give DocsToGo a significant edge over Office Hd.
The only saving grace is that when it comes down to price, Office² HD is $2 cheaper than DocsToGo. If those two dollars are going to make a big difference to you, then Office² HD offers you the basic functionality that you need. But, if you’re less conscious of price and want a better all-round experience, then DocsToGo is the way to go…
For all of you who are looking to turn your iPad into a mobile office, Office² HD is a solid choice. It combines good functionality and the ability to pull files from online services, and gives you the basic functionality to edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Office² HD is $7.99 in the iPad App Store, which is expensive but, as noted above, slightly cheaper than the alternatve. In a recent update, Office² HD has implemented an upgrade where Google Docs syncing and saving is in place. Overall the app is perfectly functional but I would implore the developer to look into upping the speed, simplifying the user interface, and sorting out saving to web services.