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Cloud Apps of the Week: Spoon

Cloud Apps of the Week

Major cloud gaming platform OnLive is stretching out of its interactive video background and into competitive pool of applications designed for the iPad. Its freshly released app, entitled OnLive Desktop, will enable users to use their laptops’ system of Windows 7 directly on their tablet screen. In short, the entire suite of Microsoft Office programs, including Word, PowerPoint, and Media Player, can be accessed via OnLive’s app through the iPad. Those who download the app, free of purchase on iTunes app store as of last Thursday, are privy to an inviting 2GB of free storage space in the cloud for their Microsoft documents. Additional space — up to 50GB — will be made available for $10 monthly. OnLive’s clever application could potentially pose a threat to Google’s array of cloud-ready offerings, like Docs and Calendar, that sought to supplant Microsoft’s package as the go-to’s for on-the-go consumers.

Music lovers who wish that online radio stations would play their own already purchased hit tracks should easily gravitate to Audiobox.fm, released to a fair wave of acclaim in 2010. Amid a flurry of existent cloud applications that look to attract music fans, Audiobox stands out by not only storing users’ music on the cloud, but also by playing that music on every device the user may own, via Audiobox’s custom player. AudioMashes is what distinguishes the 2012 version of Audiobox: it connects the music player with Dropbox, Twitter, Gigjunkie, and the like. Best of all, users need to download no software to access these features. The application charges its users only $4 a month to warehouse their tracks in the cloud.

The makers of Spoon have determined to advertise it as more than just an app. Visitors to its website will see Spoon instead presented as app virtualization, or technology that (similarly to OnLive Desktop) opens the applications of a user’s desktop onto a given device. Unlike OnLive’s offering, Spoon can launch an array of applications both common and rare, from Google Chrome to PuTTY. Helpfully, Spoon backs up files stored on a desktop automatically to the cloud. Spoon also allows users to synchronize their files and applications by selecting the desired files and dropping them onto Spoon’s clearly visible control panel. A download of a small plugin is necessary to wield Spoon’s features, available for free with up to 100MB of storage. Up to 100GB is available for more active users, starting at $8 a month.

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.