Google this week said it will soon launch mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on Google Android devices and the Apple iPad.
The ability to edit Google Docs on the devices will make both Android devices and the iPad more relevant for business users, helping them further break down enterprise walls while boosting user productivity. Google Docs is the search giant's cloud-based suite of productivity applications that lets users create, edit and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms via the Web.
Google revealed its plans to mobilize Docs editing capabilities at the Google Atmosphere cloud computing event in Paris in front of more than 300 global CIOs and IT professionals.
"Today we demonstrated new mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad," wrote Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard in a blog post recapping portions of Google Atmosphere. In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices."
Girouard did not specify which Google Android devices will have Google Docs editing capabilities.
The ability to edit in Google Docs on Android and the iPad comes just months after Google launched a mobile version of its Google Docs viewer for Google Android and the Apple iPhone and iPad. The mobile viewer lets users view documents in various formats on their devices without having to download them to the device first. But when the mobile viewer was released in June, Google Docs users were put off by its lack of editing capabilities.
"Reading is all well [and] fine, but when will we see editing on mobile devices? It's bloody silly that iPad can't do even so much as add text," one user wrote at the time in response to Google's mobile Docs viewer unveiling.
Another wrote: "I can't wait to hear about editing for documents on my Android. It's really the only thing that's missing from my phone."
Adding Google Docs editing to the iPad is a big win for Google. The move will spark increased competition between Google's cloud-based offerings and Apple's suite of iWork applications, which offers productivity applications like Pages, Keynote and Numbers. IWork applications run $10 a pop for the iPad from Apple. Google Docs, historically, has been free.
"Only cloud computing is able to deliver the whole package of productivity-enhancing collaboration, superior reliability and virtually unlimited scale at a price that's affordable for any size organization," Girouard wrote, adding that currently more than 3 million businesses and 30 million users within businesses, schools and organizations use Google's messaging and collaboration tools.
Along with highlighting Google Docs editing on the Apple iPad and Android at Google Atmosphere, Google also showcased its recently unveiled two-factor authentication for Google Apps, its cloud collaboration and messaging suite. Google Apps Premier, Education and Government Edition administrators can now have users sign in using their passwords and a one-time verification code that is pushed to a mobile device either by SMS message or a voice call. Google said its two-step verification process for Google Apps makes access to Google's cloud offerings more secure. The company added it will soon roll out two-factor authentication to Standard Edition Google Apps users as well.