Android apps

OnLive Desktop App provides free use of select Windows desktop apps on an Android tablet

March 1, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka

Productivity, Tools


OnLive is a name typically associated with cloud-based gaming on various platforms, including Android and Google TV. You can add cloud-based desktop virtualization to that list as OnLive Desktop is giving users a desktop experience without having to be at their desktop.

Available now for most Android 2.3 and higher tablets, OnLive Desktop is a  cloud-based service that can access popular programs through the tablet or phone. The app doesn’t actually access your home PC, but it does enable use of select apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Reader. A keyboard appears when users want to create or edit documents, and the screen responds to gestures when using touch-based apps like MS Paint or Blackboard.

Each OnLive Desktop users gets 2 GB of free file storage and free access to the aforementioned apps. But in order to use the virtual web explorer to access things like Dropbox or view Flash content, you’ll need a Desktop Plus account. Why you would purchase those things is beyond me, especially when there’s already a great Dropbox app and most Android devices can access Flash on their own. But if you want to toy around with the app and see what use you can make out of it, download the free version from the Android Market and sign-up for an account at

Device compatibility may be an issue for some. OnLive states that only the following phones and tablets have been tested and promised to work: Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee TF101, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 and HTC Jetstream.

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