Part of the magic of mobile computing is being able to work on the same file anywhere.
You can start your paper on the bus, add a few paragraphs in the public lab, add a picture taken with your phone, and knock off the conclusion on your friend’s laptop. How do you do this? Long answer, it’s complicated. Short answer, the following services will get you most of the way there.
Basically, two services are most important. You need cloud storage, and you need editing tools.
One option is SkyDrive, which is a free cloud based storage service, available to all Ohio State students that have a BuckeyeMail account and to anyone with a Windows Live Account. It allows you to both store and edit your Microsoft Office documents. Sarah Parsons has written articles on SkyDrive and how to use it.
However, if you are a graduating student or just not a fan of Windows Live, there are other options out there. I have written a quick breakdown of the top 5 mobile document editing and/or storage programs I found most useful for Android, and their iOS equivalents (if there are any). A summary chart is listed at the bottom with basic information and pricing. Screenshots of the starting menu and “action shots” of each app are included with each section.
* I am using an Android phone, so for iOS users the screenshots below will look a little different. All apps shown are available for Android tablet as well.
Dropbox is a free service that lets you upload photos, docs, and videos to the cloud. Then any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically be copied to any device that is connected to your dropbox account, whether it is your phone, computer, or tablet. Dropbox requires a third-party app in order to edit any documents. Any changes you make to your document and save will be reflected on your Dropbox account and any devices connected to it.
You can visit the developers website for a detailed features list. Dropbox can be downloaded from the Android GooglePlay Market, and the iTunes Store.
2) Google Drive
Google Drive is a free service that allows you to access files, folders, and Google Docs from a web browser or any device where Google Drive is installed. It allows you to store your documents, photos, music, videos, etc., and syncs with your mobile devices and your computer. Hence if you make a change from one device, it will automatically update on all other devices. It also tracks changes, so if you make an edit to the document and hit save, you can still look back at all your revisions from the past 30 days. It can also view 30 different types of files, including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and HD video.
You can visit the developers website for a detailed features list. Google Drive can be downloaded from the Android GooglePlay Market, and an iOS variation on the iTunes Store.
QuickOffice is a third-party document editing and creation app. You will need to store your files using one of the solutions mentioned above (or on your device). Some android phones come with a free version of this software, otherwise it is $14.99. It can connect to multiple cloud storage accounts, and works well with local storage accounts, and emailing attachments. You can open and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, as well as annotate PDF files, online and offline.
You can visit the developers website for a for a detailed features list. QuickOffice Pro can be downloaded from the Android GooglePlay Market, and the iTunes Store.
OliveOffice Premium is a free third-party app that allows you to create, edit and view Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, as well as compiled help manuals, Microsoft html, and text files.
You can visit the developers website for a for a detailed features list. Olive Office Premium for Android can be downloaded from the Android GooglePlay Market, and an iOS variation for iPad only from the iTunes Store.
5) Kingsoft Office
Kingsoft Office is a free third-party app that allows you to create, edit and view Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, as well as view Adobe pdf. It has a built in email attachment system and allows the user to download and edit attachments. It allows cloud storage though Box.net by default and any other cloud storage which supports the WebDAV protocol. There also is an international version that includes multiple language packs.
You can visit the developers website for a for a detailed features list. Kingsoft Office for Android can be downloaded from the Android GooglePlay Market, and a Japanese only variation for iPhone from the iTunes store.