Tag Archives | Zoho

Zoho Integrates With Google Apps Via Unified Sign In

ZohoThe most interesting company in Web-based office suites isn’t Google. It won’t be Microsoft, even after the Web-based version of Office shows up next year. It’s the much smaller company Zoho. Its productivity tools aren’t always best of breed, but they’re always inventive, and Zoho keeps showing its willingness to try new things at a fast clip.

At the moment, Zoho offers nineteen apps, all of which are available in free versions, and all of which are worth checking out:

Zoho Apps

The newest thing Zoho is trying is letting users of Google Apps sign into Zoho apps using their Google credentials. Which certainly makes it easier to mix and match services from Google and Zoho to create a custom online suite of your own…which is something that I was doing already. Along with a lot of other Zoho fans, I’ll bet. (You could already sign into Zoho with a standard Google or Yahoo account.)

Zoho Login

The New York Times’ Steve Lohr has a nice blog post up on Zoho, saying that the company is doing well despite being a fairly small outfit engaged in intense competition with Google. When Microsoft does release its online Office, Zoho will be up against two giants–but I hope it’ll continue to flourish, and I have a feeling it will.


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Zoho Goes Mobile, But I'm Still Waiting For the First Great Web-Based Office Suite for Phones

Zoho Mobile LogoZoho–also known as the little company that takes on Google in the world of Web-based productivity, and sometimes outdoes it–has released a new version of its Zoho Mobile service for phones today. As usual with Zoho, it’s ambitious: The new version works on iPhones, BlackBerries, Android phones, Symbian phones, and Windows Mobile ones, and provides access to the service’s mail, calendar, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation package, and database. Here’s Zoho’s blog post on the news; the suite itself resides at m.zoho.com.

I tried Zoho Mobile this morning on my iPhone, and ran into multiple glitches: The e-mail and word processor looked good, but I couldn’t get spreadsheets or presentations to load properly. And the calendar’s “Quick Add” feature for entering appointments didn’t work. (Actually, I can’t get it to work on my notebook, either.) I just dropped a note to Zoho to see if the company knows what’s up.

Doing productivity well on a phone remains one of the larger challenges in software: I can’t get Google’s iPhone version of Google Docs’ presentations app to work either, and have problems with its spreadsheet, too. And neither Zoho nor Google offers full-blown editing of word-processing documents and spreadsheets in mobile form. (Google does provide some rudimentary editing in its spreadsheet, with an oddball user interface.)

In other words, I’m still waiting for the first great Web-based suite I can use on my iPhone. I’m sure it’ll come along–and Zoho and Google are the two primary candidates to make it happen. But both Zoho Mobile and Google Docs still feel experimental at this point.


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1Word for April 1st, 2009

Technololgizer's 1Word[NOTE: Response to Technologizer’s 5Words has been terrific, but many readers have told us that they think even five-word descriptions of stories are too wordy and wasteful. So as of today, we’re relaunching the feature as 1Word. Terse enough for ya? If not, we’d be happy to go to monosyllabic words. 0Words would be doable, too. Just let us know.]

Uneventful.

Imitative.

Multilingual.

Fired!

Banned.

Tiny.

Fraudulent.

Bankrupt.

Amusing!

Buggy.

Downsizing.

Android?


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Zoho Writer Gets a New Look

Zoho LogoAdventNet, the company behind the bulging Zoho suite of productivity services, was one of the first to build Web apps that looked and behaved like traditional software–and it’s gone on to play an industrious, intrepid David to Google’s Goliath in the world of online office suites. Today, it’s given its flagship Zoho Writer word processor a major makeover, with a new interface that combines aspects of Microsoft Office 2007’s “Ribbon” interface and the more familiar menus of older Office versions into something that’s distinctive in its own way.

Zoho calls this MenuTabs, and simply put, it lets you get access to a set of commands–such as tools for inserting various elements into a document–either as a menu:

zoho-menu

Or as a tabbed toolbar of icons:

Zoho Tab

Me, I’d go for the menu every time: Unlike Office 2007’s ribbon, which sports sizable, reasonably easy to decipher buttons, the Zoho toolbars have tiny icons that require a moment’s thought to decipher. The menus, on the other hand, explain functions in plain English. But it’s cool that Zoho lets you choose between the two approaches. (When Microsoft introduced the Ribbon, it did away with menus in their old form.)

Zoho has also upgraded Writer’s sidebar, which gives you access to files you’ve created and lets you perform tasks such as renaming them, moving them to the Trash, and sharing them–including bulk actions on multiple files in one swoop. It’s a nicely done, highly convenient feature, and I wouldn’t mind it a bit if both Google and Microsoft swiped it.

I’m currently trying out the new Zoho Writer in the only fashion that really matters: by using it to do some real work. More thoughts as I have them, but for now, I’m enjoying reacquainting myself with it.


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Zoho Mail: A Flexible (But Imperfect) New Take on Webmail

For a long time, Zoho has been the most ambitious provider of Web apps around when it came to the sheer variety of services it offered–from a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool to stuff for invoicing, HR functions, and project management. Bu there’s one app that’s so obvious that I somehow hadn’t noticed that the company didn’t offer it–and that was e-mail.

As of today, it does. Zoho Mail is live, and while the world wasn’t in desparate need of another browser-based e-mail service, it does have a few notable features. And in particular, it seems to be designed to be a Gmail alternative that’s in some ways more flexible:

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Operation Foxbook: More Fun With Web Apps

The experiment known–by me, anyhow–as Operation Foxbook is winding down. By tomorrow, I’ll have packed up the HP Mini-Note I’ve been using as a dedicated Firefox machine, and I’ll allow myself to use desktop applications instead of relying on Web apps whenever possible. Already, I’m weaning myself off of my Web-only regimen–I may allow myself access to Photoshop later tonight.

But I’m still learning things from this project, and need to catch up on sharing them with you. Some notes on the last few days:

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