Zoho Mobile Office Suite: But Has UI Issues on both the iPhone and Windows Mobile

Zoho provides leading edge web-based office application components. For example, their web-based word processing and spreadsheet components provide far more functions than Google Docs and Spreadsheet. That said, I stopped using Zoho on my desktop (notebook & netbook) back in January because of functional issues (mostly in copy & paste in spreadsheets) and multiple instances of lost documents. However, I was interested to read this Zoho blog item…
Introducing Zoho Mobile
Zoho’s mail, calendar, word processor, spreadsheet, slide presentation, and database type app (Creator) are all accessible by pointing your smartphone’s web browser at:
m.zoho.com
Zoho had previously provided a subset of these features on smartphones. I tried it out using both a Windows Mobile touchscreen (Professional Edition) smartphone and an iPhone.
Windows Mobile’s browser complained because Zoho does the right thing by switching immediately to an SSL encrypted HTTPS session but does not provide the correct certificate. I clicked through it find a functional web office suite with a few issues. Some small spreadsheets took a long time to load. In fact, I ended up checking my connection and trying a few spreadsheets because of the delay. I also found that the spreadsheets and word processing document files I tried opened to window interfaces with no visible way to return to the main Zoho mobile office menu. Pressing Backspace (backup the browser to the previous web page) works. But, that seems clunky and non-intuitive to me.
Zoho Mobile Office’s window behavior on the iPhone is different and inconsistent. It opened a new Safari browser window there when I opened a spreadsheet file but opened a text document in the primary window.
The spreadsheet file I opened did not provide any menu at all… just the open spreadsheet table. So, I wasn’t sure if I could save changes to the table or if it was automatically saved as I typed. The text document I opened resulted in very small print in window that couldn’t be resized. Zoho Writer mobile, however, does provide links away from the editing window.
Zoho has a lot of UI work left to do with Zoho Mobile. However, it looks like a good start. And, if they’ve resolved the data integrity issues I ran into earlier this year, I may give it another shot because of their new mobile interface.



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