I was one of the first to check out the OnLive Desktop app for the iPad that techies all over USA are just discovering.
I am not truly impressed. I’ve been using TeamViewer’s excellent free apps to remote desktop into my home computer since a long time and it provides a host of services to the free user. OnLive, on the other hand, has a good amount of expertise in the remote desktop/Virtual Machine sector, but not in the features section.
The app itself is great, you download, register and pretty soon, you are ‘running’ a Windows on your iPad. But that’s it. If you get down to serious business, the only way to get files in and out of that ecosystem is a web based upload/download site available only from a desktop. That site itself isn’t too bright. It has just the right amount of features to let a person use it once or twice, but more than that and you’ll be bored or, if you’re a serious user of MS Office and deeply interested in mobility, you’ll consider paying. Perhaps that’s the OnLive push – show users some good functionality and then nearly force them to pay up.
OnLive is itself a great service as a gaming platform. Their push towards core Windows services is still not at a mature enough stage. Perhaps a better service to look at is Spoon.net which lets you run a host of applications remotely without needing a complete environment, but they don’t have an iPad app yet.
Till there are better solutions, just enjoy your mobile Windows with OnLive, there’s no serious work that can get done on it easily.
Update: There’s a lot of talk about OnLive Desktop Plus, $5 a month for extended services on their app. On the other hand, users like @nithin who are sitting all the way in India face problems like connectivity and bandwidth issues that prohibit the app’s functionality.
So, if you’re truly interested in being mobile, even a hint of slow internet or the absence of 3G will derail your plans of using the app pretty quickly. Thus, choose wisely…
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