How to use Office Web Apps? Extensions and mobile access

Today it is time for our final part of series devoted to Office Web Apps. This time, we will discuss the most interesting extensions for browsers that can improve SkyDrive performance and OWA. Finally, we will cover issues concerning mobile access on both services.

Author
Wojtek Wowra
Publication date
24.06.2013
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As you will notice there aren’t any browser add-ons for these applications. One of he most interesting is CloudMagic for Firefoox. This is a Multi-Search, which searches through all parts of your Google Apps including Gmail, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, and SkyDrive in one go.

CloudMagic lets you search 50 times per month. To overcome this limit we need to upgrade to the pro version for $ 5 per month. This price may be a little bit excessive as for a browser add-on. On the other hand, those who store lots of files in the cloud will be delighted to have this add-on.

View Office Web Apps is another useful Firefox add-on. The extension adds a context menu to the browser, thus allowing to open text documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly in Office Web Apps – so there is no need to download it to disk and upload.

Chrome extensions

Considering Chrome, it has much more assortment. Here we have two official apps - SkyDrive and Outlook.com. The former acts like a SkyDrive's client for Google. While the latter gives you access to Microsoft mail and seamlessly integrates with its virtual hard drive.

Another application worth considering is ZeroPC Cloud. It not only allows you to manage multiple cloud services but let you download them, open, share, delete, and manage as well. If you use many services where you'd benefit from a single interface, you should definitely give ZeroPC Cloud a try.

Among the best extensions for Chrome, Attachments.me for Gmail, Dropbox ... makes room for itself. Plus, it supports SkyDrive. Securely and quickly sends attachments into your cloud storage services, enabling you to share files without using HDD.

Attachments.me allows you to create backup copies, easily share large files with other Internet users and offers more efficient viewing of documents (some hosting services have more powerful and efficient viewing options than Gmail).

Whereas Cloudy for Gmail allows you to attach files in Dropbox, Facebook, or SkyDrive.

Office Web Apps on smartphone

Mobile access to Office Web Apps is quite complicated and varied. The widest range of features is offered to phones running Windows Phone, since they comprise the so-called Office Centre, which allows you to view and edit all documents, including DOCX, XLSX and PPTX stored in OWA.

The aforementioned application provides a Modern / Metro interface and is fully integrated with other smartphone features with "windows". It allows you to view and even send online photos taken with the camera.

Regarding Android, SkyDrive offers only the ability to view files, we cannot edit them. If you want to edit a text document or presentation, you need to download the item to the phone and use other office suite installed.

When you use Office Web Apps, you can decide not to install the application and open SkyDrive direclty in your browser. But still, you will only be able to read documents. This functions also works on phones running iOS (Apple).

Microsoft has released an official SkyDrive app for iPhone. It provides a similar level of functionality as for Android. It looks better on iPad - but here functionality is similar to that of Windows Phone.

In practice, we can benefit from using OWA if we have a phone with "windows". In other cases, the range of functions is usually smaller than in Google Docs and Google Drive. Microsoft promises better support for Android, so there is no other way as to wait patiently.

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