Google Apps Unveils Free Mobile Versions for Docs and Sheets

The Google Apps mobile versions will also include a Slides app in the near future.

Google Apps has just released mobile versions of its Docs and Sheets applications so that mobile users can create or edit documents on their devices while on the move. A mobile Slides app is also in the pipeline, but is not yet ready for release.

The three new mobile apps for Android and for iOS were announced by Brian Levee, a Google product manager, in an April 30 post on the Android Official Blog.

"Every year, phones and tablets get better, and more of you are starting to use your mobile devices not just to view, but also to create and edit content," wrote Levee. "And while the Drive app is a convenient place to store your stuff, we want to make it easier for you to quickly find, edit and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go. Starting today, you can download new, standalone mobile apps for Docs and Sheets—with Slides coming soon."

Users will be able to see their most recently edited files when they open each app, making it easier to find files as needed, wrote Levee.

"The apps also come with offline support built in, so you can easily view, edit and create files without an Internet connection," he wrote. "Now, if you have a brilliant idea for a best-selling novel while traipsing through the Amazonian rainforest (or you know, something more probable, like during flight takeoff) ... no problem. You can jot down your idea in the Docs app on your phone, even when you're offline."

The new Docs and Sheets apps are now available in the Google Play store, or through the Apple App Store for Docs and Sheets apps.

"If you don't have time now, over the next few days you'll be prompted to download the apps when you go to edit or create a document or spreadsheet in your Drive app," wrote Levee. "And of course, you'll still be able to use the Drive app to view and organize all of your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos and more."

Google is often adding new features and services to its Google Apps products. In March 2014, Google encouraged its existing Google Apps paying customers to promote the service to friends through a $15 per-referral cash bonus if users help Google sign up new paying customers. The Google Apps Referral Program allowed existing users to receive a maximum of $1,500 as a reward for up to 100 such referrals. The program opened to Google Apps users in the United States and Canada. Google has some 5 million Google Apps users around the world, according to the company. The cloud-based Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive storage, Docs, Sheets and Slides services.

Also in March, Google announced that it will drop support for the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server in March 2015. The coming change will affect Google Apps users who are using BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry OS 7 or older that are connecting to Google Apps through BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3. By using the connector, enterprises could set up their Google Apps suite to integrate with BES, which allows employees to use built-in BlackBerry applications to access their Google Apps email, calendar and contacts.

In November 2013, Google announced that it would move all its Apps sign-in pages to have the same look for consistency and security, meaning that users will lose their personalization options. Under the changes, they are also losing the ability to customize their Google Apps sign-in pages with their logos and other branding information.

In October 2013, Google unveiled a new feature that allows Google Docs users to share files with others who are not using Google accounts. The new capability allows guest Docs users who are not signed in using a Google account to be able to view a file, but not make changes or edits, according to Google. The new feature permits, for the first time, users to share such documents with others who may not have their own Google accounts. Previously, users could only view such files if they were also logged into their Google accounts. Administrators and Google Docs users who already have file-sharing permissions can change the sharing settings as desired. The new file-sharing feature is available for users of Google Apps and Google Apps for Business, Education and Government.