Connect by Quickoffice is a new cloud service that gives users remote access to files across all their devices and other cloud services (Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive and others) and the ability to search across them regardless of operating system.
Conceptually, Connect by Quickoffice can be compared to a service like Apple’s iCloud, but unlike iCloud it’s not limited to Apple devices. Instead, someone about to leave for a trip could, for example, save a document on their PC to a cloud service, retrieve and make changes on an Android smartphone while driving in a cab to the airport and continue editing the latest version on an iPad later on the plane.
The company says Connect users will be able to share documents, spreadsheets and presentation files with social networks, including Docstor, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Scribd, Twitter and Yammer.
“What we’ve been seeing is the need for users to start work on one device, whether it’s a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, and work seamlessly across those devices and the various cloud services,” Gregg Fiddes, SVP of sales and strategic partnerships, said in an interview with TabTimes. “We’ve built a push/sync infrastructure so that changes to your documents are pushed to all your devices and clouds at the same time, so you’re always up to date.”
Company officials said they timed the release for today, but the service is not quite yet available, pending Apple’s approval for distribution via the App Store, which it expects to receive soon.
(Quickoffice CEO Alan Masarek will be giving the keynote on “The new tablet workplace” at the TabTimes Tablet Strategy conference April 27).
Connect by Quickoffice goes to work
In an online demo, TJ Varghese, Quickoffice director of product management services, made edits to a desktop Word file, added bold, colored some text and hit a save button that also shows the document being synced. Seconds later he retrieved the new version with the changes from an iPad.
Varghese says Connect by Quickoffice goes beyond services like Google Docs because you can work with documents offline in the native Microsoft Office format and have changes synced to other devices as soon as you are back online. You also have the ability to sync selectively to devices and cloud services.
Also, Quickoffice integrated remote access search and retrieve features to make it easier to get at content you may have forgot to sync. For example, you could access files on your PC’s D drive or your iPad (assuming it’s not shut off) from another computer.
“Fundamentally it’s a file manager, but no two file managers work alike and that’s a problem when you’re trying to retrieve information from different devices or cloud services,” says ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr. “So they have a good method here for getting at everything.”
Orr says Connect by Quickoffice’s ability to let you access across form factors and operating systems and to save and sync files appears to be unique and should be of interest to business customers.
“A service like iCloud is a good for Apple, but it starts to break down once you get beyond Apple devices,” he said. “In the real world, most business users don’t have just one brand of device or computer.”
Pricing and availability
Quickoffice said Connect by Quickoffice will be available for free download shortly from popular App Stores, with two subscription service levels offered as an upgrade.
Connect Premium will be available for a limited time discount of $19.99/year ($25 off the suggested list price).
- The Connect Basic free service includes the ability to view documents, cloud access, five sharable folders, sync up to two devices and up to 5,000 file sync capacity.
- Connect Premium, (without discount) $44.99/year – view and edit documents, aggregated search, unlimited folder sharing, sync up to four devices, remote access, 125,000 file sync capacity.
- Connect Professional, $69.99/year – view and edit documents, aggregated search, unlimited folder sharing, sync up to six devices, remote access, file versioning, 250,000 file sync capacity.