Google Launches New iOS Apps for Google Docs and Sheets

Google today debuted two new standalone iOS apps for documents and spreadsheets. Google Docs and Google Sheets are designed to allow users to create and access documents and spreadsheets on their mobile devices.

Before the introduction of Google Docs and Google Sheets, documents were only accessible via Google Drive or the web. Google is also planning to release a Google Slides app in the near future, further growing its line of productivity apps on the iPad and the iPhone.

The apps are designed with offline support built in, so viewing, editing, and creating files can be done without an Internet connection. Google Docs supports opening and editing documents that have been previously worked on via another device and documents can be shared and edited by multiple users at the same time.
With Google Docs you can:

- Create new documents or open and edit any that you started on the web or another device.
- Share documents and work together with others in the same document at the same time
- Get stuff done anytime–even without an internet connection
- Add and respond to comments
- Never worry about losing your work–everything is automatically saved as you type
Google Sheets functions similarly, allowing multiple users to work on documents in the app or on the web. The app supports formatting of cells, sorting data, and more.
With Google Sheets you can:

- Create new spreadsheets or open and edit any that you started on the web or another device.
- Share spreadsheets and work together with others in the same spreadsheet at the same time
- Get stuff done anytime–even without an internet connection
- Format cells, enter/sort data, perform various sheet operations, and more
- Never worry about losing your work–everything is automatically saved as you type
Both of Google’s new apps can be downloaded from the App Store at no cost.

- Google Docs [Direct Link]
- Google Sheets [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
In a few years, I guess this will be the popularity order:
Google > Apple > Microsoft
Rating: 7 Votes
37 months ago

Again with the horrible, fake 3D bevel on the app icon. Luckily I have no intention of using these apps.

Luckily something inconsequential like that has no effect on the functionality/usefulness of an app.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
I don't get the purpose of the new apps - no new editing features compared to Google Drive app (still no editing for tables embedded inside Docs for example) and (unlike Drive) both apps don't show folders, just one long list of all documents filtered by type. What's the point? To give Google more icons? :confused:
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago

But what about PowerPoint?

Google Slides?
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago

I disagree, strongly.

There are two things that matter in picking an office suite:
1 - How easy is collaboration?
2 - How capable is the suite of making great looking documents?

For the first category, Google wins, no competition. It's what their claim to fame is and always has been - it's what they've been focused on from day one. Without that, the entire world would have scoffed, shoved it aside, and kept using Office. iWork is better than Office in this category, but the synchronization is quite buggy when multiple people are editing a single document - it'll regularly see simultaneous edits as being mutually exclusive, even though they have nothing to do with each other, and thus force you to pick one edit or the other, not both.

For the second category, Apple and Microsoft's suites are about as capable of each other. The major difference is that with Apple, it's incredibly easy whereas I have to search through help manuals on a regular basis to make even trivial style changes in Office. Google is in an extremely distant last place in this category. It's okay for presentations (although even then, it's far inferior to PowerPoint and Keynote) but I'd never seriously consider making anything more than a trivial spreadsheet in it or a short, 1 or 2 page list just for internal usage, in the word editor.

Apple is poised to have inarguably the best software - they just need to fix synchronization issues in collaboration.

Oh, and you guys may not realize it, but IBM still makes Lotus. I had always assumed that died when Microsoft made Office, but I was wrong. It's easily the worst productivity suite in existence, but IBM requires all IBM employees to use it.

Aren't you forgetting a third major category? Feature set? Don't get me wrong, I use iWork exclusively as the CFO of a small company, and have basically enforced this on our workforce in an all Mac work environment. Excel has been basically relegated to a glorified calculator and used for legacy files from before our switch, but there are still some things it is better at. (tools for analysis of large sets of data, like pivot tables, as the major example)

iWork is definitely king when it comes to easily making attractive, easy to understand documents and presentations. Keynote is in a league by itself, Numbers is far more attractive and easier to integrate with Keynote than the Excel/Powerpoint combination, and Pages produces equally more attractive end products than Word ever will.

Feature set:
Office, iWork, Google

Google, iWork, Office

Great Looking, Professional Documents:
iWork, Office, Google

iWork = 2+2+3 = 7 points
Office = 3+1+2 = 6 points
Google = 1+3+1 = 5 points
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago
well, not having a subscription model will be sure to help. As much as I am sure Microsoft did a fine job with office for ios, the subscription only approach still kills it for me, and makes me more likely to use other solutions on mobile devices. (like googles apps, apple's, etc)
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago
I spent the $99 for Office 365 subscription, since we have 5 Macs and 2 iPads in the house. Nevertheless, I predict that, in the long-run, Office 365 subscriptions prices will likely drop substantially.

In the old days, if you wanted to use productivity software, there was basically only one option......shrink wrapped MS Office. Even if your needs were very simple, you were still pretty much forced into it. But now there are viable options for people with simpler needs. Even at work, 90% of my colleagues only use a small fraction of MS Office functionality and features......for most people it is overkill.

This free offering from Google, combined with Apple's iWorks, is one more step along the path to folks migrating away from MS Office. The subscription prices will likely follow downward as well.

Only time will tell.
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago

1. Office is already installed in most work-issued computers. And considering most people in the company are using the same productivity suites, why would I use If you work in a company where 50+ employees have immediate access to Office and have established Office as the standard, why would you use to collaborate with them?

We did it because it was a top down policy decision, given we did a cost analysis (using Excel) and found we saved a very substantial amount on our IT budget over the life of the hardware by not having to pay for Windows, Anti-virus, and Office licenses for each machine. So we converted to Macs and use iWork as the official primary productivity suite.

2. On your iPhone, please create a pivot table from a set of sales reports to show total sales returns for each product by market. Then, use that pivot table to identify the salesperson with the best monthly numbers, and individual sales numbers of that rep across the entire catalog of products available.

Good example - pivot tables are the one thing I want Numbers to be able to do, but at the same time that is actually the only thing I miss. That and Find-Replace within a formula.

However, in reality, that sort of analysis is most effectively done inside of your CRM solution as backend database queries and shown on a nice realtime modern dashboard. If your CRM can't do the analysis you describe above, you should probably find one that can (even the free open source community edition of Sugar CRM can do this, check it out) - this is exactly what CRM's are for. Doing that sort of thing manually in Excel today seems so 90's.

In addition, if I were to send you a Word presentation for a new product proposal for review, could you track changes for me?

You're right, but isn't realtime collaboration the direction this is going in? iWork is actually ahead of Office in this regard. Pages can track changes, but Word's implementation is better, and in situations where realtime is not possible, track changes is currently king.

The idea that compatibility plays a big role is only true when you look at it from the bottom up. Exactly like one may feel one can't use iWork at work because everyone else is using Office, and your boss uses Office, if a top down decision is made, then suddenly you can't use Office because your co-workers and your boss are using iWork.

If I am sending something external is is always PDF or HTML anyways. I never send an editable file to an external party unless it is our auditors, and they get excel files exported from iWork.


1. It's free in both price and bloat.

2. Spreadsheet calculations were calculated long before pivot tables were introduced. Is it a useful tool? Yes. Can it be calculated without it? Probably.

While Numbers does not do Pivot Tables, some of the functionality can be done with categories. Here is one way.

The video is old but the same can be accomplished with the new app.

And Pages can track changes.

Nice, very useful info - the real question is, can I still do this with the new Numbers?
Rating: 1 Votes
37 months ago

How does this differ from the Google Drive app that can create and edit spreadsheets.


This is probably more of a "professional" version, although I have been very happy using my google drive for tracking gas at the pump.
Rating: 1 Votes
37 months ago
Software has to do several things to be interesting:

1) Read all my old files (Excel, Word, Works, RTF, HTML, text (pure), etc)

2) Write to most formats - all of the above in a variety of versions so I can give files to other people who don't have the software I have.

3) Work.

4) Be around for the future. Google has a bad track record on this.

5) Not be a subscription. Microsoft and Adobe lose here.

Bonus: Be useable on both my desktop (MacOSX) across multiple versions (10.4.8 through modern) and also on iOS devices (3.2 through modern).

So far nothing does all of this. I keep dreaming.
Rating: 1 Votes
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