Does Google Docs Work on an iPad?
The buzz about the iPad was that the device would (eventually) replace netbooks for everyday functions. When I bought my iPad, my expectations were pretty low. As a tech junkie and Apple fanboy, I pretty much had to pick up an iPad even though I had major doubts about its abilities. No Flash? No HDMI? Still, I stood in line and paid for what I thought may be little more than a fancy paperweight.
Now that Google offers GoDocs for iPad and iPhone, my paperweight’s value has skyrocketed. For example–at this very moment, I’m typing this article on my iPad in a cab on the way to the airport. After my flight lands, I’ll plug my laptop in at the hotel and finish editing it, post it, and sit back and have a glass of wine. Pretty cool, right?
GoDocs is by no means the first attempt at convering Google Docs to work with iPads and iPhones, but it is the first official release by Google, and probably the best.
GoDocs popped up in November of 2010 and has undergone a few changes since then. This is a true mobile version of Google Docs that lets you create, edit, and delete documents on the go. If you travel a lot or work from a few different places, like me, you’ll find GoDocs increases the value of your iPad or iPhone tenfold. I can work with Google Docs on all my different devices from pretty much any location.
The biggest difference between GoDocs and regular old Google Docs is that lack of a “save” button. Have no fear–your document auto-saves every few seconds automatically.
What about losing your connection? iPad users (especially those that move around often) know how much of a headache keeping a connection can be. If you lose your data or WiFi connection, GoDocs uses the HTML5 “offline storage” feature so you can still use the app. You just can’t “save” your document. Lose your connection? Keep working, and GoDocs will automatically save your document the next time your iPad is online.
The biggest knock on GoDocs is that you can’t do very much. You can’t format text (fonts, size, etc.), you can’t add links, and you can’t even align your paragraphs. There’s also nothing in the way of document-sharing available. GoDocs is for typing and editing text, and that’s all.
Hopefully, Apple and Google will work together to better utilize the iPad’s features and create a richer Google Docs experience for those of us that like to do our typing on the go. Using GoDocs on the iPad, I get the feeling that there’s so much more that this machine could do with an app like this. I’d like to be able to add images, draw, put together presentations, and even create web forms on the go, like I can on non-mobile versions of GoDocs, and I feel like the iPad would be the device to get it done.