Looking to read that Google Docs file on your smart phone? Google has now rolled out mobile viewing support for Google Docs on Android, iPhone and iPad platforms. But the viewer is just that. Forget about editing and creating documents from your phone.
The mobile version of Google Docs lets users view PDFs, PowerPoint, and .doc and .docx files uploaded to the user’s documents lists without having to download the individual file on to the device. The viewer is also designed to take advantage of the native capabilities of the iPhone, iPad and the Android devices, allowing users to view the documents based on device capabilities. Android users can switch between pages as well as pan and zoom within a page, while iPhone and iPad users can pinch to zoom in and out.
Noticeably lacking in the mobile version is the capability to edit and create documents on any mobile operating system, including Android. However, since the ability to edit and create documents is still lacking, enterprise customers may be disappointed.
One Google blog commenter, Josh Centers, concurs:
“I was thrilled when I saw there was an update for Mobile Docs, then royally disappointed when I found that editing is still left out. So I’ll repeat what everyone else is saying: Please include full mobile editing, or even better, a native Android app. A native Android Tasks app would be nice as well, especially if you ever hope to get taken seriously by the enterprise.”
Third-party applications are available through Android Market for those in dire need of creating and editing functionality. However, enterprise buyers looking to move to Android will most likely shy away from “clunky” third-party applications on an OS thought by many to have security flaws.
It’s not just Android users that are clamoring for editing and doc creation support. Lack of support for iPhone and iPad is frustrating to many Google Docs users as well.
Notably missing from Google’s new mobile viewer version is support for BlackBerry and Symbian devices. Not surprising is the absence of WinMo support.