When I bought my iPAD recently, one of the big selling points was that I could get Microsoft (it is not made by Microsoft folks) Office for a fiver (£5) which meant I could carry on using the same Word Processor I’ve been using for donkeys years – and which I’m comfortable using.
I could have got Apple Pages but, as I have iWork and Office on my Mac and as I’ve hardly ever used iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynotes), always favouring MS Word, I was chuffed that I didn’t need to learn anything new for the iPAD.
However… Doesn’t that sound familiar when talking about anything related to Microsoft – ‘however‘? However, there’s a major glitch, which I didn’t find out until I’d used the iPAD to rough draft loads of doc files.
Because I write, a lot, my theory was that I could draft up any idea in the Microsoft Word (DOC) format and then I send the file either via email or using DropBox or even through iTunes so I could then make my final edits on either my Mac of PC. So far so good. No probs with the app itself, it works a treat. No probs at all with either creating and editing Word docs or Excel spreadsheets. The problems arise when you try to save a file once you’ve edited it on either Mac or PC.
When I open the doc files on either laptop, make a few edits and try to save it without changing the file type, Word crashes.
On the Mac the workaround is to change the file type to DOCX when saving but workarounds should not be necessary. On the PC, with my older version of Office I only have the option of saving as DOC and even if I change the file name and try saving to a new location, Word crashes.
The idea behind having the iPad is to make me more productive without complications.
I still love the iPad – I still think it is the ultimate ‘gadget’ for people who ‘think on the go’ and who want a way to jot down, scribble down, type, record voice memos, anytime anywhere and I don’t leave home without it – but, sorry Microsoft, I’m off to buy Apple’s Word Processor App, Pages.
Since writing this post I have spotted an update from the developer in the iPad apps where they acknowledge and I assume fix the compatibility issue. While its good that they have quickly dealt with the recent spread of posts about compatibility, it should have been blatantly obvious before the app was released how people would use it and how important it was for the 2 parts of Office HD to be compatible with Microsoft Office for Mac and Office on the PC…
This reminds me of my ongoing gripe with the whole “there’s an app for everything” – if the developers weren’t in such a hurry to get the next app out there, they might actually take some time to field test the darn apps first and they might just get a few more positive ratings.
Just looking at the feedback and ratings for Apple’s Pages app compared to the very few ratings and feedback comments for Office HD should have given me an indication that, even at a mere fiver, Office HD could be a damp squid – as it was.
I’m off to test the new update now. I’m guessing I’ll have to open all my DOC files on my iPad and re-save them with the updated version of Word in order for them to be compatible with Mac or PC – or are the files I already created going to remain incompatible?
Another update will be added later…
By the way, I just noticed that my negative feedback about the app was not published so I guess the developers don’t like an even balance of good and bad reviews.
Well, I gotta say – these guys have sorted it. After updating Office HD I created a new DOC on the iPad, saved it to DropBox and opened it on my Mac (Office 2008 for Mac) – I edited the file and it saved absolutley fine. Next test was on my PC; opened the same file (including the edits from the Mac) in Office XP (a few years old now), edited the text a bit more and again, without any problems, the file saved fine.
Returning to my iPad, I re-opened the file from DropBox in Office HD and ba da bing – there’s the new versiopn.
Well done guys. Good work. The only negative is that I just wasted money buying Pages as a replacement app. Software, like websites and anything, should be thoroughly tested. The only outcome of a device or an app that doesn’t work correctly is a pissed off customer. Like I am now. Albeit not massively out of pocket but I have wasted money nonetheless.
Have you found any surprise issues with the iPad or the apps?
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