Developer: Permanent
Price: FREE ($9.99 to unlock full features)
Version Reviewed: 2.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Free to download, Permanent is a relatively easy recommendation to make for those wanting to edit or create spreadsheets while on the move. That’s not to say that it’s a perfect app or one that requires no payment in order to unlock extra features, it’s just that it covers many of the bases quite well. Most importantly, it uses the touch interface appropriately; feeling intuitive rather than cumbersome.

An interactive tutorial paves the way to using Permanent and it’s a convenient one. Rather than solely offering plenty of text to explain all, it expects users to get involved, thereby learning the basics. The basics are pretty intuitive, mostly involving taps and drags to do everything imaginable. Permanent continues to offer all the key features one could want, too; such as merge, formulas, bordering, text styles, and various formatting options.

permanent5permanent1Where Permanent is a bit more restrictive is in the cloud services it’s able to import from. It can easily read Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as well as CSV and numerous other file types without any formatting changes required, as well as allowing for exporting to XLSX. However, the free app only allows connectivity with one cloud service – Box. To unlock Dropbox support one has to pay $9.99, which also provides email support. Crucially, there’s no Google connectivity offered, even at a price. Something that’s bound to be off-putting to many.

Besides those issues, Permanent is a very solid and dependable spreadsheet app. It’s easy to use, clearly laid out, and still offers some way of importing and exporting. Do bear in mind that lack of Dropbox support for free users though, as well as the lack of support for other services such as Google or SkyDrive. It’s a niggle in an otherwise quite convenient tool.

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