Sunday, May 1, 2011

Google Docs App for Android…Finally?

google_docs_logoSo, Google has finally released the Google Docs as an App for the Android platform.  I have had my time with the apps to determine if the app is what we expected, what it should be, or if it was misfire of an app that has a LOT of room for improvement.  Well, I have played with it a bit.  I found that the app is a good start, but in comparison to ThinkFree, Documents to Go, and other office suites currently in the market…well read on if you want to know what I think.

This is an application for the Android platform that should have been a part of the OS from the very get go.  When Google released Android 2.0, they should have had a Google Docs app ready to roll out along side the serious update to help cash in the business savvy users that were looking for something that could compete with the iPhone, and more versatility than the Blackberry.  However, other companies such as DataViz and ThinkFree stepped up immediately with their products to fill that void.  Don’t get me wrong.  DataViz’s Documents to Go is, and always has been, a top quality product.

I am glad that Google finally decided to release Docs as an app on the Android platform, however it has some serious short comings to make it a serious competitor to the long entrenched apps in the market as of current.  The app feels more like a simplistic gateway to the online mobile Google Docs.  There is NO actual document support.  What you end up is with a simple text editor.  A text editor that isn’t as good as those from SpringPad, or Evernote.  One thing that Google Docs does bring to the table is a decent Spreadsheet function.

Personally, I feel that if Google wants to release a product that is nothing more than a notepad/text editor, then they should have done so with Google Notebook, NOT Google Docs.  Google Notebook is a product that seems to be a long forgotten application that Google started before they purchased Writely back in 2006.  Google Notbook has pretty much not seen any development updates for a couple of years now, and was effectively replaced by Google Docs.

All in all, Google Docs for Android is a decent start, if it was released several months ago.  As it stands now, it is a rather limited and weak in comparison to the document editors already on the market.  Let us hope that Google takes note of the lacking capabilities that Google Docs has, and either releases a version with more editing optioins, or a tablet specific version that makes having it on such a device worth installing.

At least the app IS free.

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