What's Next For Google Docs: Better Android App, Offline Caching, And More


Photo: albertbredenhann

Five members of the Google Docs team are held an open Q&A session on Reddit today and talked about what’s coming next to the product:

  • A much better Android app. This was the most common question, and the team said that mobile in general would be getting “lots and lots of improvements.” One specific: today the Android app requires using a browser to edit documents, but native editing will be coming eventually.
  • Offline support so you can continue to work on files even when your Internet connection is lost. Google used to offer this via Google Gears, but is reimplementing it using “HTML5 standards like AppCache, File API, and IndexDB.”
  • Cloud Print, which lets users print documents over the Internet to a connected printer, will be coming to multiple platforms. Today it’s only available on Chrome OS.
  • A better version of the Cloud Connect plug-in to Microsoft Office will let you fire up Word, Excel, or Powerpoint, browse documents on Google Docs, then select one to edit — just as if they were on your hard drive. (Today, users have to invite others to share a document, and they get the invite via a link in an email.) This update “is in final testing now” and will be coming soon.
  • Preview of .txt files, which was removed earlier this year, is coming back.

The team also answered some more general questions about Google — for instance, their favourite perk is Google’s willingness to match up to $12,000 in donations to a favourite charity — and posted this picture of their lunch from the New York cafeteria:

The Q&A runs until 6 pm ET, so jump on in if you have a question.

Lunch at Google

Photo: Google Docs team

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