Quip, the online co-editor tool, has announced the availability of Quip Spreadsheets. Just to quibble (quipple?), they are really more like worksheets, since they are embedded in basic Quip documents, along with text, checklists, bulleted lists, images, @mentions, and so on.
The now familiar activity stream of comments is on the left hand side — the conversation — while a spreadsheet has been embedded in the lower right of the Q 3 Business Goals document.
Quip has implemented over over 400 functions, so heavy number-crunching is supported. Spreadsheets are supported now on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, and the web app.
Taking advantage of the embedding, Quip supports referencing cells of a spreadsheet in the text of a document, so that when the cell is updated, the text reflects it:
Of course, this doesn’t stipulate what happens when you have multiple spreadsheets in a document. The usual approach would be to precede the cell with the name of the spreadsheet, which is what I hope they have done. This would also allow linking across spreadsheets, which is needed for serious spreadsheet work. Likewise, they might support linking across documents in a similar way. I will update this description when they’ve responded.
They also provide a full-screen spreadsheet mode, which is great for dealing with traditional non-embedded spreadsheets, like those that are imported from Excel, CSV, and OpenOffice.
Quip has pulled off a very well-done and deeply integrated approach to co-editing spreadsheets.