APP OF THE DAY: Docs review (Android)

Google Docs has never really been that good on Android, surprising really when you think that the service has the ability to be a real key point for the mobile operating system.

All that however is about to change thanks to a new app, from Google, that gives you access to your Google docs from your phone, and a few other treats along the way.

Docs (Android)

Format
Android (also iPhone/iPad)
Price
Free
Where
Android Market

Fire up the app and after a few seconds you’ll noticed that if you already use Google docs all your documents are automatically synced in there and ready for you to use.

It’s a really nice touch and one that makes setting up a doddle. As long as you’ve already given your phone your google account details, it will pass those to the Docs app and do the rest.

As you would probably expect from Google the emphasis here is on simplicity. That means no flashy menu systems, no swirling graphics, just access to your files. In fact you could say it’s a little too simple.

The home screen offers shortcuts to All items stored in the cloud, collections, starred, documents, images, as well as text, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Selecting documents for example gives you a list of all your current documents and they can be ordered in a variety of ways. The default is by usage date with your newest or latest edited or created documents at the top. Choosing one opens up the browser and then lets you see what you’ve created.

Rather confusingly all your documents are viewed and edited in your phones browser with the app really just a place to manage and view your document listing rather than storing and managing your documents and files locally.

There is no offline mode for example.

What there is however is a feature that allows you to create a document from a photo with Google then turning the text in the picture into words for you to edit – OCR style.

In practice it works well. There are mistakes of course, but it will save a lot of typing – it will need a quick edit – and will certainly come in handy the next time you are planning on doing some industrial espionage.

Everything presuming you are connected, is saved to the Google docs cloud meaning you can access it later from your computer.

Where the app falls down is the lack of offline mode, you won't be able to store it on an SD card, and if you're being really precious about things it takes over 2MB of your phones memory, but if you can get past those, this free app is worth a download, especially if you use Google docs.