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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

September 21, 2010

Google Announces Mobile Editing in Google Docs for iPad and Android Users

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

If you've ever tried to edit your Google docs in a mobile format: say, on your iPad or your Android (News - Alert) phone, you'll know that it's not really possible. Currently, mobile users can only view documents stored in Google Docs. According to Google, however, those days may be over. The company announced it will be unveiling new mobile editing functionality for Google (News - Alert) Docs running on Google's Android and Apple's iPad. A Google team demonstrated the tools to press observers at the Google Atmosphere cloud computing event in Paris yesterday.

Said Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard, “In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices.” Girouard is the head of Google's cloud collaboration efforts. Google's official blog touted the company's cloud computing dominance as the enabler for the new capabilities, as well as other functionality. “Only cloud computing is able to deliver the whole package of productivity-enhancing collaboration, superior reliability and virtually unlimited scale at a price that’s affordable for any size organization.”

ZDnet enthusiastically embraced the changes, noting that it will provide Google with a strong competitive advantage against Microsoft (News - Alert). “The access will be browser-based rather than app-based, but given the state of the art in mobile browsers (Safari, Dolphin, and Skyfire all provide great experiences), this is hardly a problem.

In fact, it’s yet another shot fired across the bow at Microsoft, whose Windows Phone (News - Alert) will be able to edit and access documents in Sharepoint, but isn’t anticipated to allow the real-time collaboration that Google Docs users will be able to experience on the desktop or, shortly, their mobile devices,” noted Christopher Dawson on the Googling Google blog. The announcement means that iPad and Android users will be able to edit documents collaboratively without using Microsoft's Sharepoint collaboration server.

According to Google, the service will be available to iPad and Android users within the next few weeks. There was no explanation as to why the service will be available only to iPad users and not users of other Apple (News - Alert) devices.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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