rollApp lets you run desktop apps, work with files, get things done — right from the browser on any device.

Office Solutions for Mobile: Open Office on rollApp, Microsoft Office

Last week Microsoft made available its famous Office suite on iPads, iPhones and Android phones for free. There is always a high demand for quality office productivity applications on any platform. No wonder that LibreOffice and OpenOffice in the cloud are by far the most popular applications in our catalog. With free Microsoft Office applications entering the playground it useful to check how different office solutions for mobile devices compare against one another.

We tried Microsoft Office on iPad and Android phone and here is what we think about our experience.

First things first — when you start an app you see a login screen. Here you have to login with your Microsoft account. While this can be natural for long time Microsoft users, not all of the iPad users have Microsoft accounts, so they’ll have to create new account to use the app. At the same time to work with rollApp applications you can login with your existing Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter or Amazon account. Chances are high that you have at least one of those. Also, you can “test drive” any application without login to get a grasp of functionality and features.

While asking to login may seem unfortunate it is the only way to give users ability to securely access their files, which very often do not originate from the mobile device where the application is launched. On both iPad and Android Microsoft Office allows you to get files from OneDrive and Dropbox cloud storage. In addition to that on iPad you can work with local files, which you get to and from the device via the iTunes, when it is connected to your laptop or desktop computer. Applications on rollApp offer wider range of supported cloud storage: you can store your documents on Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Yandex.Disk. And more options are coming in the future.

Mobile version of Microsoft Office, naturally, offers best possible compatibility with file formats of older brother — Microsoft Office for desktop. What may come as a surprise is that mobile version only supports basic editing and formatting, while more advanced features are not there at all or require a premium subscription. For instance, things like changing page orientation or inserting WordArt in Word, or customization of pivot tables and adding chart elements in Excel are premium features available only to Office 365 subscribers. Overall, the mobile version of Microsoft Office is underpowered comparing to its desktop ancestor. On the other hand, LibreOffice and OpenOffice on rollApp are full-featured applications that bring all the power and advanced features of the desktop office suite right at the hands of mobile users. They have familiar interface and with rollApp are available in their full glory on any device and platform: Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet or phone, or Kindle Fire. We do our best to make more friendly and natural for mobile users with features like virtual mouse.

Pricing is also an important part. Microsoft Office for mobile is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but offers only a limited functionality. Premium subscription to Office for $6.99 per month will unlock premium features in mobile office and also give you license to use office applications on your PC and 1 terabyte of OneDrive storage.

With rollApp you get all the applications functions including advanced for free with ad-supported account, which gives access to more than 100 apps with no limitations. rollApp premium subscription (also $6.99 per month) gives you ad-free access to apps and extended platform features. For example, your application will be running on the server for 1 hour (instead of 10 minutes in the free version), when you intentionally or unintentionally disconnect from it.

All in all, Microsoft has released a great application with slick design and great functionality for premium users. The free version is fairly limited, but includes the most necessary functions for mobile users. Office applications on rollApp would work better for users who need power without compromises and value the ability to use the same full-featured applications on wide variety of platforms.

Anyway, more choice is always better for the users and we hope this overview will help you choose what’s best for you. Also, we will highly appreciate your suggestions and ideas on how to make rollApp more useful. You can share them with us in Twitter, Facebook and Google+