Recently, the team behind OnLive Inc. released OnLive Desktop for iPad. Following that, the Android version of their software has now finally been released. The Onlive Desktop is now available, free of charge, in the Android market.
Readers might connect the OnLive being talked about to the OnLive popular for streaming video games to low powered devices. In this case, the connection would be absolutely correct. OnLive gained fame originally due to its cloud-based, console-quality game streaming to devices the games could not be played on. This was done by synchronizing, rendering and storing the games on remote servers, possibly millions of miles away, and then streaming the games over an Internet connection to whatever device users wanted them on.
OnLive now puts the same technology and the same powerful servers to use and streams several other useful services. The OnLive Desktop app basically allows Microsoft Office apps to be used, in their original form, on iPads and now also on Android devices. This is done by allowing users to remotely host a fully functional Windows 7 desktop right on your tablet. This desktop is described as ‘instant response’ in OnLive’s press release, and it is true that there is a negligibly small lag between touch and response.
As expected, the free, Standard version has limited features. But a lot of people don’t need everything that the ‘Plus’ version offers so the free one will be perfect for them. The free version lets you use the entire Microsoft Office suite, so if that’s all you need from this app you don’t have to pay anything. Predictably though, the cloud storage is a bit limited; 2 GB. The free version also comes with Adobe Flash that allows fast web browsing. The Windows 7 desktop is a given, obviously.
The OnLive Desktop Plus version however will set back users by $4.99 a month. All features included in the free version are included. To add to that, Plus offers web browsing at an astonishing speed of 1 gigabit. This is what OnLive claims to be the fastest web browsing experience ever, beating Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connections. Paying subcribers also get priority access, especially useful when and if the servers are especially taxed. The price is made worth it by the 1 gigabit speed. Since only video is streamed on your tablet, and nothing actually happens on the device itself, the speed is blazing fast- thanks to OnLive’s servers. As said in the official press release, a 50 MB webmail attachment file takes literally one second, if not less, to be transferred. Web browsing data usage is also considerably reduced, as “only the top layer of the current view of a website is sent over your local Internet connection.”
An OnLive Desktop Pro version is also available, which further improves features. The main thing that this version offers is 50 GB of cloud storage and the option to personalize and customize your ‘virtual’ desktop by adding PC apps to it. This feature-rich version costs $9.99 per month.
The Android Market offers the following list, detailing exactly what users can expect from this cloud based service:
- Instantly being able to view, edit and create documents using all of the programs you would expect to find in Microsoft Office.
- The ability to easily transfer files between OnLive Desktop and other devices.
- The benefit of high performance, instant response PC applications via a tablet device.
- Interaction with lag-free animation and video.
- Compatibility with most Bluetooth keyboards and mice (left click only).
Additionally, a full on-screen keyboard, cool handwriting recognition and support for a Bluetooth hardware keyboard is also included.
The OnLive Desktop requires Android version 2.3, at least. Devices supported include Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 & 10.1, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Acer Iconia Tab A500, Motorola XOOM as well as HTC Jetstream.
The app has now been released for both the iPad and for Android based tablets. Apparently, we will next see the OnLive Desktop app on smartphones, PCs, Macs, Monitors and even television.
Head over to desktop.onlive.com or the Android Market to sign up for your free OnLive account and download the amazing OnLive Desktop (Standard, Plus or Pro).