Monday, 16 January 2012

Review and Overview of the Free OnLive Desktop App for iPad

With the launch of the free OnLive Desktop App for iPad, OnLiveFans decided to try out the new software, and provide their readers with a quick overview.



The OnLive Desktop App, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes App Store gives you access to a Windows 7 virtual desktop, with 2GB of free storage. The desktop is pre-loaded with the following software:

- Microsoft Office 2010
* MS Word 2010
* MS Excel 2010
* MS PowerPoint 2010

- Recycle Bin

- Getting Started – a brief tutorial explaining how to use the OnLive Desktop App.

- Windows 7 Touch Pack
* Microsoft Blackboard – Game
* Microsoft Garden Pond – Game
* Microsoft Rebound – Game
* Microsoft Surface Collage – a program used for making image collages via Windows 7.

- Windows Media Player
* Includes 3 Songs (Bob Acri, Ninja Tuna & Fine Music Vol. 1)
* Includes 5 Videos (OnLive Overview, OnLive – What is Cloud Gaming?, OnLive Desktop Overview, Wildlife in HD, & Landscapes
* Includes 8 Photographs (nature related)

- Accessories
* Calculator
* Math Input Panel
* Notepad
* Paint
* Sticky Notes
* WordPad

- Ease of Access
* Magnifier (helps you make things bigger on your screen)
* Narrator (narrates what you are doing and what you are reading)
* On-Screen Keyboard (opens the keyboard)

- Tablet PC
* Shape Collector (helps you allow the computer to recognize your handwriting)
* TabTip (opens keyboard/handwriting recognition tool)
* Windows Journal

All in all, OnLive is providing us with the standard Windows tools needed to create everyday documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, as well as a few additional applications to play around with.

The software is locked down pretty well. It seems to be impossible to access “My Computer” from the desktop, or do anything else that would expose any possible security risks on the service.

The OnLive Desktop App works tremendously well. It is extremely responsive, more so than my local desktop on my home PC. Videos load quickly, programs open almost instantly, and the touch screen is as responsive as if the desktop was being run locally.

There are a few small negative aspects of the App, which OnLive should consider working on in the future. For starters, the Windows Start Menu is extremely frustrating to use. I found that about 40% of the time when I click on a folder in the start menu, I miss and click the wrong one. This is simply because of the fact that the menus are too small for a human size finger to precisely select (and I have abnormally small hands). 

The OnLive Desktop App requires a 1 Mb/sec internet connection (recommended 1.5-2 Mb/sec connection). This is something that is not always available, especially if you are on the go and don’t have a wireless broadband plan. However, this is the cloud, and the cloud is the future.

The keyboard that is included in this App is the Windows 7 touchscreen keyboard. It doesn’t come close to competing with the traditional iPad keyboard which unfortunately is not available while using the OnLive Desktop App. The keys are smaller than those on the normal iPad keyboard, although they are almost just as responsive. The keyboard includes keys that the traditional iPad keyboard does not, and many of these keys are very useful. For example, the “F1 - F12” keys, CTRL, ALT, TAB are all included. These are keys that some people can not live without while running Windows, thus this is probably the reason OnLive elected to go with the Windows keyboard as opposed to the traditional iPad version.

I did have an opportunity to demo the App using a wireless Bluetooth keyboard/mouse, and that made all the difference. Using the wireless combo, your iPad turns into a mini Windows desktop computer. It’s simple to click on menus, type in text, and navigate throughout. If you are considering using the OnLive Desktop App for everyday use, I would highly suggest picking up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo. 

OnLive makes it simple and easy to upload/download documents, photos and videos to your OnLive Desktop via a web interface. Users can login to their own personal OnLive Desktop documents at files.onlive.com.

You can give the free OnLive Desktop App for iPad a try.

You can sign up for free to use OnLive Desktop.

SOURCE: OnLiveFans.

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