Google has released two new dedicated Android apps for Google Docs and Google Sheets which saves us from having to dig around within Google Drive for documents and spreadsheets. This change should be much better for new users, as an app labeled “Docs” is much more intuitive than than one labeled “Drive” when you just want to type something up. That said, there’s also something for veteran Android users too. Here’s a look at what makes these dedicated apps special.
The new Google Docs app puts your documents front and center. Unlike the Drive app, there are no folders to dig through. The app lists files by date, placing recent documents at the top for easy accessibility.
Docs opens with a blue action bar across the top of the screen, adding a bit of pop to the UI. Spread across the top, there’s a search icon, a toggle for switching between list or thumbnail view, a button to change the order, an “open file” icon, and a button for creating a new document. If you are using a phone, the view and sorting buttons are tucked away under a menu. There’s also a sidebar2 which lets you browse all files, starred documents, or those saved to your device.
The interface for editing documents remains the same as it was is in the Google Drive app. The action bar turns gray, and it contains a scrollable list of options.
Collaboration within the app is not a problem. You can invite people to view or edit a document and see when others are accessing the same document.
The Google Sheets app is functionally the same as the Docs app. Instead of blue, it’s green. The default icons spread across the top are exactly the same, which makes it easy to switch from one app to the other.
Spreadsheets may look more complex than your typical document, but the interface for editing them also remains largely the same. The action bar is gray, and the icons for editing it are spread across the top.
When a spreadsheet contains more than one page, the tabs appear at the bottom of the spreadsheet just as it does in the web version.
Both Docs and Sheets retain the ability to save files for offline use. This way you can edit documents when you don’t have an Internet connection, or at the very least, pull them up quickly to glance at later.
These apps access the same content displayed by the Drive app, and they recycle the same interface for editing them. The difference relates primarily to accessibility. With dedicated apps, documents and spreadsheets are easier to find and open. These apps save you from having to sift through recent songs, photos, and other files when trying to find the spreadsheet you collaborated on a week before.
A Google Slides app for presentations isn’t available just yet, but it’s on its way. More than likely, the software will look similar to those shown above.
Do you like this new approach, or do you prefer to access files all within the Drive app where they’re centralized in one place? Sound off in the comments below!