Google continues to leverage its good work in HTML5 to enable its productivity and collaboration applications to work offline.
The company is now letting users make any Google Docs available offline from their Android smartphone or tablet computer.
This covers documents, Google presentations, Google spreadsheets, uploaded images, and files in formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls and .ppt. Users may do this with or without a Web connection.
This feature is important for users who don't have access to an Web connection and need to access a file they've saved. Google does not enable Doc editing at this time.
This is obviously not a big concern for users with 3G- and 4G-radio powered smartphones, but Google still has the use case:
I wager the feature is super useful for users of the WiFi-only Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and others of its ilk who need to grab their Docs.
Moreover, Docs will automatically update offline files when users do get on WiFi. Of course, users with Web connections may manually update files by opening the file or tapping Update from the Offline section of the app.
See the manual update screenshot from an Android tablet here:
Users should also follow these instructions for how to enable offline access from their Android gadgets here.
How is Google doing this? Again, it's HTML5, the same technology Google used for offline Gmail, Docs and Calendar through Google Chrome on desktops such as Chromebooks.