Zoho introduces new services, goes toe to toe with Google Docs

Zoho introduces AppCreator, Notebook and Zoho Writer in an effort to increase its presence in the online productivity suite space

Zoho offers web based productivity suites on the software as a service model. Although the company has its HQ at Pleasanton, California in the US, most of its promotions and support is done through its Chennai office, in Tamil Nadu, India. At a Chennai event today, Zoho announced a slew of new products, and significant upgrades to existing products, as a fresh volley in its ongoing competition with Google Docs. Most products are available in both professional and personal versions.

Zoho notebook aims to be the ultimate note taking app. Notes can be taken in text, list or audio format, and stored in "note cards". These note cards can be stacked together by pinching, and pinching a stack shows an almost tactile accordion view that compresses and expands according to the distance between your fingers. A checklist card allows for a list with checkboxes that can be toggled. The individual notes in the accordion stack behave as if they were made of magnetic material, and snap together if brought close enough. The notes synchronise automatically with the cloud and across devices.

Zoho writer has a new revamped UI, that streamlines the interface and removes unnecessary buttons from the interface. Each document can be edited in three stages, compose, review and distribute. The documents offers tiered access tiers to writers and editors. The collaboration features are improved, with real time messaging feature.

Zoho AppCreator is meant for developing apps without the need to know any coding. Mostly meant for rapidly developing custom smartphone applications, Zoho AppCreator uses a simple drag and drop interface. The AppCreator is web based, so Zoho handles the heavy lifting of making it compatible with iOS, Android and Windows devices.


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