Permanent — The New Spreadsheet Review
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Permanent — The New Spreadsheet Review

Our Review by Angela LaFollette on March 8th, 2013
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SPREADSHEET HEAVEN
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Permanent sets out to change how spreadsheets are created on the iPad thanks to its intuitive interface and powerful features.

Developer: Permanent Co.
Price: $9.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

When I think about creating spreadsheets on my iPad, I instantly get a headache. There are apps out there that aim to make the process easier, but there aren’t too many that are powerful enough to really replace computer versions. So after hearing about Permanent – The New Spreadsheet, I had to see if it really lives up to all the hype.

Upon opening the app for the first time, it’s evident that it has a nice presentation. Everything looks organized and well-polished. To get started, the main screen features all the projects and documents. There are two ways to view projects either by list view or grid view. Projects can be filtered by favorites or searched for by document name or description.

There’s a Demo Project to help users learn the ropes. To create a new project, just tap on the plus button to add a name and description and then either insert a table or picture. The toolbar at the top changes based on what users select. For instance, when it’s just the sheet that is selected users can insert a table or image. There are buttons to undo and redo as well as options to go full screen or to begin using Lua script. However, selecting a column or row makes new options show up on the toolbar so that users can insert additional ones or go into editing mode and use the Text or Numbers keyboards.

The feature that matters the most to users is whether or not it can crunch numbers. It currently comes with 25 basic formulas, with more promised in the future. As mentioned previously, Lua scripting is also available and built into the app which gives it an edge over others. Lua is designed to interact with the app, and it appears that it does an excellent job.

While there’s a lot to love about Permanent, there’s also a long wish list of features that are currently missing. The app has plans for upcoming features like Import and Export of CSV documents and Excel files and Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and SkyDrive support. The app description lists even more upcoming features such as graphs and charts as well as keyboard key bindings. For now, these features are missing from the app.

Since these features aren’t readily available, it can be disappointing for many users who may need them now. The developers have lowered the price from $19.99 to $9.99 to help bring in more users as they work toward the goal of adding these important features. Although Permanent is continuing to grow, it’s worth keeping an eye on it. Users who need a new spreadsheet app may wish to go ahead and buy it to get familiar with how it works, but others may want to wait for additional features to be added before committing to a purchase. I know that I'm already enjoying it and can't wait to see it improve with future updates.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Permanent 1 screenshot 1 Permanent 1 screenshot 2 Permanent 1 screenshot 3 Permanent 1 screenshot 4 Permanent 1 screenshot 5
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