Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Android app makes Google Docs access easy, but editing remains frustrating

Google has released an Android Google Docs client. That's the good news. The bad news is that it in doesn't provide any better editing tools than those already available via the Web view that was already available for Google Docs users.

As Google says in their blog post, " Part of getting work done on the go is being able to easily access, edit and share content." That's the main purpose of the Google Docs Android app. It makes it easier to get to your Google Docs files, using the app instead of using a Web browser.

Once you get there, however, the editing process uses the Web editors. That means, for example, if you want to edit something in a spreadsheet, you have to tap an edit link for the row, and the experience is hardly fun or exciting.

The new app does have one nice feature: you can take a picture and either upload it directly, or you can take an image and have OCR translate it to Google Docs format. That's right, it will use optical character recognition to make the image into a document. It also has a widget that you can add to the home screen to allow easy access to starred documents, taking a photo to upload, or document creation.

Still, while the Web app allows easy access to the files, editing the files is just as frustrating as before. What Google needs to do is release something that allows editing in the vein of QuickOffice or Documents to Go: WYSIWYG-style editing.

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