Google Drive updated with native docs, collaborative editing

By , Sep 10, 2012

Google today pushed an update to its cloud-storage app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that leaked last week in a prematurely published blog post.

With Google Drive 1.1, you can finally create new documents on your device, move your cloud files between the folders and edit documents on the go.

Native editing doesn’t feel buttery-smooth as in Apple’s Pages app and you cannot paste Camera roll images into your docs, but overall it’s a far less clumsy experience than having to edit your files in the Safari browser…

The official blog post says that today’s updates to the Google Drive client on iOS and Android finally brings native document editing to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. This has been available on Android devices for some time.

You can now use your iOS device to create a new document, edit an existing one or format text as well as better manage your Google Drive folders and files.

MacStories editor Federico Viticci was impressed by new collaboration features, also observing that native editing needs some work.

According to Viticci:

In my tests, I have noticed the typing speed of the app’s cursor isn’t nearly as smooth as Apple’s Pages. Somehow, it feels like writing text inside a web view — there is a small delay between hitting a key and seeing a letter appear on screen — in spite Drive’s native nature.

The aforementioned delay in typing is substantial enough to be noticed immediately and, I believe, could become an annoyance for many over time. 

He’s also saying that live editing works as advertised:  if you’re collaborating with someone, you’ll see a green cursor appear on screen, typing words in real-time.

Rich text formatting is all there, but you cannot paste images from the Photos app even though you can upload photos and videos directly from the iOS Camera roll.

Here, your iTunes release notes.

- Edit Google documents with formatting and collaboration
– Edits to your Google documents appear to collaborators in seconds
– Richer Google presentations with animations and speaker notes
– Create a new folder or Google document
– Upload photos and videos from your device or a photo directly from your camera
– Move an item to a folder in your Drive
– Delete and remove files from your Drive
– Drive is now available in over 30 languages

The updated Android client for smartphones and tablets lets you now add comments, reply to existing comments and view tables in your Google documents.

Both the iPhone and Android client sport the same set of features pertaining to viewing presentations and organizing your stuff.

Here’s a nice introductory video.

The search giant wrote that native editing and real-time collaboration for Google spreadsheets is coming in a future update.

Google Drive is a free download right from the App Store.

It’s a universal binary so it natively supports bot the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad.

Have you been using Google Drive over Dropbox or Microsoft’s Sky Drive lately?

Do you use cloud-based storage as a secondary backup option at all?

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