Jay Zaveri, developer of the CloudOn free Microsoft Office document compatible word processor for iPad, says he’s taken the app back to the drawing board to be re-imagined, and has fixed what’s broken in mobile document creation and editing. When it was launched in January 2012, CloudOn quickly rocketed to the #1 app on the US AppStore. At the time, however, Zaveri says he couldn’t say he truly loved his own product, which he concedes was cluttered, slow, and essentially a virtualized, remote version of ’80s technology Microsoft Office.
What Zaveri really wanted to build was a gesture-first and touch friendly app to enable users to truly create on iPads without tearing their hair out. In order to do this, he says he and his team had to toss out some of the technology they had built and commit to a new direction. He observes that using an iPad to create documents can be a challenge, since even minor things that are easy on a laptop can be tricky to execute on a tablet. For instance, selecting and moving text or images and dropping them exactly where you want is really hard to do. Inserting tables, pictures, and styling text can be a major pain.
“The iPad is still a consumption device for most people,” says Jay Zaveri, “There’s been little innovation around mobile content creation—it’s still stuck in the ‘point and click’ era. Document creation can be fundamentally changed by ‘gesture-first’ design; tap, hold, grab and move things naturally. This launch is a step in that direction.”
Mobility has changed the way we work, yet document editors have not changed for mobile use. CloudOn cites a recent mass consumer…