Google Drive Revisit


I have to say there's at least one great thing about iPad apps at least once done by companies that are still around, and that is the updated quickly. Case in point, since my last post Google Drive has updated its iPad app. I'm happy to say the with the September 10, 2012 release of v1.1.0, you can now edit your documents!  Well, some of them anyway.

When you first open the new Google Drive app, it might look similar to the old Google Docs one some the overall user interface hasn't changed much. However, once you go in and look at a regular document you'll find the shiny new edit button. I like that documents still open in view mode, as it prevents accidental editing.

Once you switch to edit mode, you can modify the text using the standard iPad tap and type method. You can also utilize some basic formatting functions: bold, italics, setting the alignment, bullets, indenting, and changing fonts.  

Google Drive Edit Screen

I gave it a whirl editing one of my short stories in progress. Overall it worked about like I expected and I was happy to see that even with the more limited formatting in the iPad version, it didn't butcher the full version on the site and my page breaks, etc were all retained. The edit mode will also let you see who is currently viewing a shared document, so if you are collaborating with someone you can see each other's edits relatively real-time.

Alas, the new editing function is only available to “regular” text documents created in Google Drive (or converted from some other format to Google Drive's format). Spreadsheets remain uneditable at this time (and I presume presentations are also uneditable, I never use it so I didn't check). Still having at least some editing function is a great improvement and shows Google is working towards the goal of letting you edit your content on the iPad. The editing functions that are there all work as I expected and I saw no obvious bug.

Meanwhile, if you, like me, still need to edit spreadsheets or sometimes access the fuller range of document editing functions, the Google Drive site works very well in Chrome for iPad.