Obviously trying to stay in the pack with Apple and Microsoft — both of which have mobile versions of their office applications — I learned this morning that Google has released free mobile apps for iOS and Android for Docs and Sheets, and Slides will quickly follow.
Brian Levee, Docs Google product manager, Official Google Blog: New mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides—work offline and on the go
When you open the new apps, you’ll see your most recently edited files, which means less time searching and scrolling.
The apps also come with offline support built in, so you can easily view, edit and create files without an Internet connection. Now, if you have a brilliant idea for a best-selling novel while traipsing through the Amazonian rainforest (or you know, something more probable, like during flight takeoff)…no problem. You can jot down your idea in the Docs app on your phone, even when you’re offline.
Now that I am lugging around an iPad Mini and Logitech bluetooth keyboard, editing Google Docs on that is possible, and probably better than using a browser interface, especially considering the offline capability.
I tested the integration of Drive and Docs on the iPad, mostly because the native display in the mobile Google Docs lacks the folders I’ve created in the cloud, and just provides a gazillion files, as a long, long list. But the Google Drive approach is best, as shown below:
I have been using Google Docs a great deal — writing the first few drafts of reports, for example — and I am waiting with great anticipation for an extension of the activity stream concept in Google Drive. I am expecting to see a chat stream integrated there before too long, with user posts on top of the current system information about file creation and so on.
It appears that Google Drive uses the local Docs app when you opt to edit a document, and it all works as you’d imagine: very smooth and seamless. I wish there was a Mac version of Google Drive/Docs so I could have the same capabilities — like offline editing — that they now support on the mobile clients. And the integrated activity stream that I have been pining for.