Best 3 Alternatives for Apple iWork

Best 3 Alternatives for Apple iWork 300x187 Best 3 Alternatives for Apple iWork

Apple’s iWork apps for iPad were optimized for the tablet touchscreen, but they may not be for everyone. Maybe you need a solution that works better with Microsoft Office and lets you use more of that suite’s features, or that integrates well with a cloud-based storage service like Dropbox. The App Store has plenty of other business-oriented programs for your iPad. Just tap through Home→App Store→Categories→Business and browse away.

Until Microsoft gets around to releasing an official Office for iPad app (which has been rumored), and if iWork doesn’t work for you, consider one of these:

1. QuickOffice Pro HD. This $20 app lets serious business users view, create, and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the iPad. It even supports ancient versions of the Office suite (going back to 1997) and up to Office 2010. The app can also handle files from SharePoint servers and save documents as PDF files. QuickOffice Pro HD also includes a file manager for moving files around through cloud-based services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Docs. You can also publish your stuff easily to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media services. You can also get the Professional version for $14.99, QuickOffice Pro.

2. DataViz Documents to Go Premium. DataViz has been making file-conversion software since 1984, and was one of the early pioneers with programs that could display Microsoft Office files on antique handhelds like Palm organizers. The company continues its efforts into the 21st century with its $17 Documents to Go Premium app for iPad, shown below. The app can make, open, and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in the Office 2007 formats and later. It also syncs files to online services like Box.net, Dropbox, Google Docs, and others—and comes with a free program for the Windows or Mac desktop for a two-way file sync over a WiFi connection.

3. OnLive Desktop. As you can see, the App Store has plenty of programs that let you at least coexist in a Microsoft Office world, but what if you need more than that? What if you need to use features found only in the full version or Office, or you need to play videos in Adobe Flash? In short, what if running Windows on your iPad is what you need to be productive? In that case, consider the OnLive Desktop app for the iPad, and its companion service, OnLive Desktop Plus. The combination of the two gives you a Windows 7 desktop right there on your iPad screen, with copies of Office programs, Adobe Reader, and Windows standards like Paint and Notepad right at your fingertips. The Windows desktop actually lives on OnLive’s servers, but you (literally) tap into it through the OnLive iPad app.

Once you download the free OnLive Desktop app and sign up for a free OnLive Desktop Plus account at desktop.onlive.com, you’re ready to go. You can upload Office files from your computer to OnLive’s servers, then open and work on them on your iPad. The OnLive Desktop Standard service is free and you get copies of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to use, plus two gigabytes of server storage for your stuff. Not enough? OnLive has paid plans that start at $5 a month a bring faster connections to its servers, more gigabytes of server storage, and more Windows programs to tap into from your iPad.

Need specialized business and productivity apps for things like creating invoices or dipping into databases right there on your iPad? Apple has a collection of apps for that at www.apple.com/ipad/business/apps.


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Best 3 Alternatives for Apple iWork

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