Google Docs application for android released

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Google

Google has just released Google Docs for Android. This is a somewhat confusing move, considering that the company has already released similar apps in the past, namely Google Drive and Quick Office.

According to the apps' profile page on the Google Play website, Google Docs has been designed to "create, edit & collaborate with others on documents from your Android phone or tablet".

Quickoffice on the other hand enables users to "create and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations", while Google Drive to create and edit documents that appear to collaborators in seconds.

From what I can tell, Google Docs focuses on the collaboration aspect. While you can create and edit documents in a similar fashion as you can do with Google's two other applications, they don't support the collaboration features that Google Docs does.

You get real-time collaboration with Google Docs which means that you see what others do when they work on a shared document, spreadsheet or presentation.

This includes adding comments to documents, and responding to comments that other users have left. To answer to comments, you need to tap on the settings icon at the top right when the document is open to select the comments option from the listing.

Google Docs displays all comments to you. When you tap on a comment you get options to reply to it or edit it if it was your own.

google docs android

Google Docs uses Google Drive as its online storage solution, but unlike the latter can make available documents offline on the device.

You can make documents available offline with a tap on the (i) icon next to them and the selection of "keep on this device". This saves an offline copy of the file on the device so that it can be opened and edited without Internet connection.

The same menu displays additional information including users with access, options to share the document with additional users, and the last modification and opening information.

Documents that you make available offline highlight the fact with a small pin icon underneath the document title in the document listing.

The app lists documents by date only which can be problematic if you prefer to organize documents in folders instead and have troubles finding documents. The search can help with that, but only if you can remember the document name.

You can display the Google Drive listing however which displays the folders here. That too may be confusing however as you cannot really tell if you are still in the Google Docs app or the Google Drive app, or somewhere in between.


If you collaborate on Google Docs a lot either in real-time or using the comment system, then you will certainly appreciate the Google Docs app. While the functionality could have been integrated into Google Drive as well, some may like the fact that it does one thing well instead. It appears that the opening is snappier as well, but I do not have hard data to back this up.

Still, Google should make it clearer how those apps differ, as it is somewhat difficult to tell right now.

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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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