By Jared Newman | Monday, September 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm
The Google Docs experience has always been hobbled on mobile devices — you can’t create new documents, and editing is limited to spreadsheet cells — but that’s about to change, for Android and the iPad, at least.
Slipped into Google’s announcement of two-step Google Apps verification was news of Google Docs editing for Android phones and the iPad. Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard said the much-needed feature is coming in a few weeks.
Plenty of questions were unanswered. Why is the iPhone left out? What about Blackberry and WebOS, for that matter? Is this just an enterprise feature, or will Google Docs editing become available to everyone? And my favorite question: What the heck took so long?
PC Magazine’s Mark Hachman says the mobile editing is somehow connected to DocVerse, makers of a cloud document collaboration tool, which Google purchased in March. That company offered 1 GB of free storage, and charged $0.25 per additional GB, but Hachman expects Google to roll the service into its Google Apps package of $50 per user per year. If the service is coming to all Google Docs users, I’m speculating that a similar freemium model will apply. (Google Docs storage also includes 1 GB free, and charges $0.25 per GB after that.)
If you’ve got an iPad and can’t wait for Google Docs to go mobile, allow me to suggest Office2 HD. The $8 app lets you create and edit spreadsheets directly in Google Docs. It also works offline or on local storage, to be synced with Docs later. Keep it in mind if Google Docs for mobile turns out to be a bust.