Word Processing on the iPad
Throughout my research for my dissertation, I demonstrated an application that allows users to open and edit Microsoft Office documents on their iPad. It was interesting to see that there was a number of people who did not know this was possible. I thought I would cover the topic in a nice little summary here. Since the demonstration I gave Microsoft have released Office for the iPad, so I shall cover that too.
CloudOn was the actual application I demonstrated but one that is very similar is hopTo. Basically this is a free application that allows you to open any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document from a cloud server such as DropBox or OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). As the applications are free they do leave a lot to be desired. However, it does allow you to open, read and edit documents on the go. There are certain issues with formatting compatibilities, but nothing too drastic.
Pages, KeyNote and Numbers
Pages, KeyNote and Numbers are essentially Apples version of Microsoft Office. I have been told that they come readily installed on the latest iPad for free, other than that they will cost £6.99 each. Apparently they run very similar to Microsoft Office and in the latest versions most of the formatting issues have been ironed out, meaning that they will be fully compatible on school computers running Microsoft Office. Again they are fully connected to cloud servers so any changes you make on the iPad will automatically be saved.
Word, PowerPoint and Excel
The Latest version of Microsoft Office has seen the development of Word, PowerPoint and Excel on the iPad. The apps are completely free to download, and will read documents, but a subscription is needed for all the features, including editing. For £5.99 a month a user is allowed to install Office 365 on one mac or computer and one tablet. For £7.99 a month it is the same for up to 5 users. There are all sorts of other added bonuses to these subscriptions, more details can be found here. These apps are fully compatible with the desktop versions and use cloud servers as above. The interface is familiar of that on the desktop version and connectivity is very efficient.
Whether you are a primary teacher or a student, nearly everybody will use documents like these. The added bonus of being able to access and edit them on your mobile device should help with productivity and sharing. Although you are probably not going to write a thesis on an iPad mini, having one of the above apps will allow certain changes to be made and will no doubt come in useful at some time. Just ensure you have a cloud storage account set up and make sure you know how to use it properly before you endeavour