Comparing #iPad Office Suites - Comparison Chart (Updated 09/22/2013)

Source: http://hothardware.com/newsimages/Item8608/graphene-2.jpg

Over the last few weeks, in collaboration with others (@mray29), I've been exploring various Office apps--view comparison chart below--to facilitate different uses in K-12 environment. The main challenge for me has been finding an iPad app with GoogleDocs integration, which has been sorely lacking in the iWorks suite. To that end, I've purchased the following apps by way of experiment:
Of course, there are others that have been available for free but didn't quite deliver, including the following:

For home/individual users, as well as those of legal age, these issues of connecting to various cloud storage locations for GoogleDocs really can be addressed by tools like Otixo.com, which allow you to transfer 2gigs of data from/to your iPad and cloud storage sites for free (after 2 gigs, you have to pay). Unfortunately, Otixo would be a for-pay service for schools and require students to be of legal age.

That's another key point to consider...students' age to interact with web-based services like Otixo, CloudOn, Dropbox must also be a consideration. Some school environments don't allow Dropbox for students, only for teachers. Others allow it for both (there's the 13 year old age requirement). It all depends on this as a result of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA):
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a United States federal law, located at 15 U.S.C. §§ 65016506 (Pub.L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2581-728, enacted October 21, 1998).
The act, effective April 21, 2000, applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction from children under 13 years of age. It details what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online including restrictions on the marketing to those under 13. While children under 13 can legally give out personal information with their parents' permission, many websites altogether disallow underage children from using their services due to the amount of paperwork involved. (Source: Wikipedia)
That means that cloud services like Dropbox can only be used with age 13 students and older provided parent permission is granted, while services like CloudOn that require legal age are simply out of reach.

DESIRE TO USE GOOGLEAPPS WITH IPAD
In anticipating what iPad Office suite would work well in a deployment, my team and I have had a lot of conversations as to what we should invest in. A part of me wants to standardize on an iPad Office Suite, but I have some misgivings about taking an approach for computers--you know, shipping every computer with standard software pre-loaded--and applying it to iPads. Since a district that has embraced GoogleApps for Education (GAFE) and iPads would naturally want to use GAFE for storage of documents created on an iPad, you can see the dilemma...which Office suite offers the most flexibility?

WHICH CLOUD STORAGE SOLUTION TO USE?
Another fascinating challenge is the idea that teachers would want to use Dropbox in lieu of self-hosted WebDav solutions like Owncloud.org. The "send to dropbox" option is quite attractive, especially since most, if not all apps that educators consider using on the iPad, have the send via email option. If every iPad you have is setup with its own email--which one can do by assigning free, GoogleApps for Education gmail accounts to an iPad in lieu of students using their own gmail account--then it becomes an easy process to send files to a teacher's dropbox account.

WHO DECIDES WHAT IS STANDARD?
I am also concerned about making these decisions up front rather than allow teachers and students explore the issues and develop their own answers and approaches for sharing content they create with each other. It's like trying to setup a net to catch everything that might fall out of the sky.

Below, please find a comparison chart I prepared as a result of conversations had with others (to whom I'm grateful for their feedback!). I would really appreciate your thoughts on what choices, if any, YOUR school or organization made, and whether these should be as an organization or allowed to arise "organically" from the users. After all, why buy something only one or two folks are going to use? 




iPad Office Suite Comparison Chart

CloudOn
Office² HD
Documents to Go Premium
iWorks Suite (Keynote, Pages, Numbers)
QuickOffice HD
Best Features for Price
Still the best
Price
Free
$7.99
$16.99
Free as of 09/2013
Free as of 09/2013
Age Limit
18 and above
No
No
No
No
Email Files
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Delete Remote Files
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Print
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
iTunes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Easy login/logout--or alternatively, deletion--of services
Yes
Yes
No
No
Unknown
Share Documents via WiFi
No
Yes with login/pwd
No
No
Yes
GoogleDocs Integration
Yes
Read/Write
Yes
No
Yes
Embed Camera Roll Photos
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Embed Camera Roll Videos
No
No
No
Yes
No
WebDav Support
(e.g. Owncloud, Otixo)
No
Read/Write
No
Read/Write
No
Dropbox
Yes
Read/Write
Read/Write
No
Read/Write
Box.net
Yes
Read/Write
Read/Write
No
Read/Write
iDisk
No
No
Read/Write
Read/Write
No
SugarSync
No
Read/Write
Read/Write
No
Yes
mobileme
No
Read/Write
No
No
Yes
SkyDrive
No
Read/Write
No
No
No
Document Creation/Editing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Word (doc, docx)
Yes
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write
Excel (xls,xlsx)
Yes
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write
Powerpoint (ppt, pptx)
Yes
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write
Read/Write





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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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