Google Docs Editing Goes Mobile, Finally


Google on Wednesday launched a new documents editor that supports Google Docs editing on mobile browsers.

The move to mobile editing comes after Google dropped a not-so-subtle hint about the upcoming capability in September at its Google Atmosphere cloud computing conference in Paris.

Google Software Engineer Andrew Grieve wrote in a blog post that Google will roll out the mobile document editing capabilities over the next few days. The update will enable users to edit documents from their Google Android devices with the latest operating system, Froyo version 2.2, and Apple iOS devices in version 3.0 and higher, including the iPad.

The initial rollout will be for English language users, while other languages will follow, Grieve wrote. Grieve said the addition of mobile editing will let users work from any location with a Web connection, be it on a train at a baseball game or from a concert.

Users can edit documents in Google Docs, Google's cloud productivity applications suite that includes documents, spreadsheets and presentations, by entering Google Docs in the browser and pressing the Edit button within a specific document.

Mobile editing has long been on the wish list of Google Docs users and the addition of mobile editing capabilities will make Google Docs more relevant to business users. Until now, users could only access and view Google Docs from their iPhone, iPad and Android devices with read-only access.

It also comes just months after Google's launch of a mobile version of its Google Docs viewer for Google Android, the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPad. The mobile viewer lets users view documents in various formats on their devices without having to download them to the device first. When the mobile viewer was released in June, many Google Docs users were put off by the lack of editing capabilities.

Adding Google Docs editing for the iPad is a big win for Google, as it also boosts the competition between Google's cloud-based offerings and Apple's suite of iWork applications, which offers productivity apps like Pages, Keynote and Numbers for $10 a pop for the iPad from Apple, while Google Docs is free.