Look out for GRID

IPads are capable of doing wonderful things. For example, they canentertain cats. They can stream Netflix. And they let us read Game of Thrones in relative secrecy. In other words, they’re great for passive entertainment. But when it comes to work-related tasks, like data entry, Apple’s tablet tends to fall short of the average laptop. Josh Leong, the CEO and creator of a new spreadsheet app called Grid, is one of many young app developers hoping to change that.

Grid, which launched in beta last week, takes basic Excel functionality and updates it with an intuitive, touch-based interface for mobile OS X devices. With Grid, you can input numbers, of course, but also places, people, and media files–even video. Leong calls it “a universal app for organizing, planning, thinking, and solving everyday problems.”

Leong is uniquely qualified to comment on Excel’s shortcomings. “I worked on Excel 2013,” he writes on his website. “I’ve been collecting not only anecdotal and personal stories but also doing a tremendous amount of user research.” His idea for Grid came from a simple insight: People use Excel for an incredibly diverse number of reasons, from invoicing to party planning, but the software is only geared towards a small “power user” minority. As he told TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois, “The tools in Excel, however, are built around power users who write their own VBA scripts and juggle massive spreadsheets.”

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