CloudOn, a cloud-based app that lets you get Microsoft Office on your iPad, just got a handy update today that includes a host of new features. Chief among them: Adobe Reader, the ability to sync files to Box cloud storage (in addition to Dropbox), and native email capabilities, which lets you open and send emails — along with attachments — without ever leaving the app.
As always, CloudOn offers a full Microsoft Office experience that’s been optimized for Apple’s multitouch slate. Diverging slightly from the traditional desktop layouts of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, CloudOn aims to make using Office apps on your tablet as native an experience as possible. Just use the multitouch gestures you already know to manipulate familiar MS Office menus, icons and items. (To see the range of features that the app boasts, check out our image gallery below.)
But the best part of this update is unarguably the addition of a fully-featured Adobe Reader, now integrated right within the app. This is no watered down, flimsy version — using Adobe Reader inside CloudOn, you can open or edit anything from simple PDF forms to complex 3-D documents on your tablet. Plus, Reader can handle the most popular image formats, including raw Photoshop images, PNG, JPEG and GIF files.
CloudOn is different from other desktop-on-your-tablet apps we’ve tested, including OnLive Desktop (which streams a Windows 7 desktop to your iPad) and remote desktop apps (apps which act as a window that peeks into your actual remote machine). This is an app that runs natively on your tablet, with your files in progress stored on available cloud services — so it lets you easily leap into your desktop when you need more precise tweaking options.
At this point, it comes down to a matter of preference regarding how you want to access your desktop on your tablet. But for the best truly native experience of using common desktop apps on your slate, we say you need look no further than CloudOn 2.0. You can grab the free app for your iPad right here.