Focuses on smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. Includes Android and iOS devices, BlackBerry smartphones, Windows phones, Kindles, and Nooks.
Contact: Richard Corzo and Jim Scheef at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Meets
on the 4rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the DACS
DACS Community Forum: Look for the Mobile Devices SIG at http://forum.dacs.org/.
News and Notes
By Richard Corzo
In March Jim started the session by showing how to set up a sync folder for Microsoft’s SkyDrive (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/) in Windows 7 or 8. Installing the SkyDrive desktop application will create a local copy of your SkyDrive folder inside your home folder. It has Documents, Photos, and Videos subfolders for your own personal files, as well as a Public folder for sharing files with others. Any files you place in these SkyDrive folders will be synced across all your Windows and Mac computers running the SkyDrive applications. If you add, delete, or change a file locally or in the cloud (through the SkyDrive web interface), that will be mirrored in all the local copies of SkyDrive on your other computers.
In Windows 8 SkyDrive also has an app in the Windows Store. That app and the SkyDrive apps on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices are designed for the limited space on a mobile device, and therefore don’t create a complete local copy of your SkyDrive. They do however allow you to navigate your SkyDrive and download individual files on demand when you are connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
In the second part of the session Richard talked about apps that allow you to view or edit Microsoft Office files on your mobile device. Most likely your device has come with a viewer for Office files, as these are often received as attachments in e-mail. For instance my NOOK Tablet has QuickOffice Lite for viewing Office files. If you also need to edit Office files occasionally, you can download a third-party app from your device’s app store since Microsoft doesn’t offer Office for Android or iOS. For instance there is a full version of QuickOffice Pro available in the Google Play Store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qo.android.am3), the Amazon Appstore for Android, and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store. In my case I downloaded OfficeSuite Professional 7 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/officesuite-professional-7-mobisystems) for my NOOK Tablet. It’s also available in the Google Play store and Amazon Appstore. Typically there is a trial version you can try out before you decide to pay for the full version.
When choosing an app for editing Office documents, you should try out one of your more complex documents to see how well it is rendered. I had a Word document with embedded graphics. I found that OfficeSuite Professional attempted to render the graphics, albeit with some overlap of the text with the graphics, while QuickOffice didn’t attempt to render the graphics at all and showed me just the text of the document. Another thing to look for is what cloud storage services are supported. Among other services, OfficeSuite Professional supports both the SkyDrive and Box services that I use, so I can view and edit Office files stored in the cloud and not just the ones I have locally stored on my mobile device.