The document editing app space on the iPad and iPhone has just heated up. The month of November has been quite eventful for the iOS ecosystem. The start of the month saw CloudOn, a visualized Office suite for iOS devices and Microsoft come up with fresh updates for the Word app. Users would no longer need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit files. All they would need is to create a free Microsoft account. This is a paradigm shift as Microsoft realizes the threat in a technology world that is moving to what is called the ‘freemium’ space. However some features such as Dropbox integration would still require a subscription. The big question remains – which among the two would be a better choice for you as a user? We shall offer you some insights into these apps to help you make a better decision.


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CloudOn has done a complete overhaul with the new app. You no longer need to be connected to the internet to access it like the previous version. The earlier suite was designed for Windows PC and thus had a mouse-based navigation which weren’t touch-friendly. There have been considerable improvements on these fronts as you can begin editing the document with a one-finger tap inside the document. The new features allow you to move text, style docs and scale pictures with a finger touch. You can also use the in-doc camera to take a picture of your doc. The new version also supports multiple cloud services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and Microsoft’s OneDrive. Though it is a free app you would need to shell out $4-a-month to access necessary features such as printing, password protection and ability export to PDF.

Microsoft Word
In the new update Microsoft has dismantled the Office Mobile Hub concept and instead offers standalone Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The Reflow View is an interesting feature and would allow users to choose between real document view and easy-to-read layout view. The chart elements feature on the other hand allows users to customize charts as they can easily add and remove elements such as titles, axis title and legends to name a few. While the previous version of Word limited you to OneDrive the latest update supports Dropbox but no Google Drive or Box. There has been considerable improvement on the user interface as developers have worked hard on fixing the small screen experience issues. It has also become more touch friendly allowing you to review changes and comments with a single tap on the screen.

The Verdict
CloudOn with its latest update is surely more user-friendly compared to Microsoft Word. It has incorporated the touch features better than Word. However this doesn’t imply that Word isn’t user-friendly or that touch features have some glitch. Though both these apps match up to each other on most counts, the fact that Word no longer requires Office 365 subscription and CloudOn would make you pay even for the standard feature, MS Word clearly appears the winner in this evenly contested battle.