By David Worthington | Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Trying to choose between Microsoft Office and Google Docs? Why not use both? Memeo Connect is a utility that brings Google Docs to the desktop. I’ve been kicking its tires for several weeks now using an account provided to me by Memeo, and have become a regular user.
I appreciate being able to access and share my documents on Google Docs, but still prefer to work in Microsoft Office. There are just too many advanced features that Google suite still lacks for me to take the plunge to a Web-only workflow. That is where Memeo comes in.
Memeo abstracts away the cloud by synchronizing its desktop client application with Google Docs. You can upload documents from your local machine, which can be retrieved and edited from wherever else you have the Memeo client software installed. You must open your files through the Memeo software, which automatically syncs with the cloud when you save. Changes are tracked, and can be rolled back.
It is also possible to save copies of your files locally, and the queue is accessible through a file management program such as OS X’s Finder. Files can be imported as PDFs or viewed on Google Docs through a browser.
You may use an existing Google Apps Premier Edition account and subscribe to Memeo Connect for an additional $9 per year, or start a new Google account through Memeo for $39 per year–software included.
On one occasion I encountered a hiccup when a few documents were displaying in my Google Docs repository, but could not be downloaded to my local Memeo client. I was able to access them online by launching my browser, but that scenario reminded me that it is probably a good idea to back up important documents on a USB stick when I leave home.
Like Google Docs, Memeo Connect has the ability to share documents with other users. I have not tried to do that yet, but may coax my editor at SD Times to use it when I travel to Microsoft’s TechEd conference next month. One complaint: the sharing dialog launches a browser window instead of happening inside of the application.
When I spoke with Memeo’s Spencer Chen, he hinted that a more advanced sharing infrastructure might be in the works. That idea appeals to me, because USB sticks can fall into the wrong hands or be lost. The cloud also forces an audit trail.
Overall, my impression of Memeo Connect is positive–it helps make Google Docs more useful to real-world businesses who aren’t willing to give up Office. It’s also great for people (like me) who have multiple machines.