Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Google Docs Android intro   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For AndroidThe Google Docs app for Android provides quick access to your documents and collections stored online with Google. Within the app you can view, create, edit, upload, and share files or take pictures with your Android device camera and directly import them.

Images uploaded from the gallery or camera can be scanned with optical character recognition to extract text and save it to a document. Users of Android Honeycomb can enjoy an optimized version of the app for larger screens.

The Interface

The interface of the Google Docs app is clean and straight forward and not too different from the web interface. A visual overview can be found under > Settings > Quick hints.

Google Docs Overview   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

When you click the little arrow button on the far right of a document, you can preview the respective document and view its details.

Google Docs Preview   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Clicking the button will open a little sidebar with document properties, including date last viewed, date last modified, owner, and a list of people who can edit the document. In this view you can also  add collaborators (people or groups), send or share the document, or rename the document. Via the settings button in the top right, you can open or delete the document.

Google Docs File Properties   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

If you want to send, rename, delete, or open a file with an alternative app, press it for a couple of seconds to trigger the menu shown in the screenshot below.

Google Docs Send Rename Open Delete   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Creating Documents

The Google Doc apps supports creating new documents, spreadsheets, or documents from a photo or the gallery.

Create New Google Doc   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

When you create a > Document from gallery or photo, the image you choose from the gallery or take with your device camera, can be uploaded as individual file, converted to a Google Docs document and embedded into a new document, or sent to web clipboard, so that you can paste it into a desired location.

Google Docs Upload Photo   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

When you choose the > Convert file go Google Docs document, the respective photo will be converted to text using optical character recognition (OCR). In theory, OCR is a fantastic feature, but in reality it doesn’t work very well, even with clearly printed text. However, if you experiment with the camera conditions (light, position, size of text), you might be able to get it to work for you. It also is rather unfortunate that the app can not display the source image, which is inserted on top of the recognized text, although it is very well able to display images.

Google Docs OCR   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Editing Documents

Editing documents within the app is possible, but it is fairly difficult. Edits can only be done line by line. Finding the right spot can be a bit of a challenge, typically resulting in short flickers of the document and a jumpy keyboard. Moreover, Google Docs does not allow you to zoom in, but forces you to work with the available text size. It must be said though that once the right line or paragraph has been highlighted, moving the cursor to a desired position works very well, unlike in some other apps.

Google Docs Editing   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Homescreen Widget

Google Docs comes with a simple homescreen widget. It unites four functions: opening Google Docs, viewing starred files, taking a photo and uploading it, and creating a new document.

Google Docs Widget   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

In Honeycomb, you can add the widget by pressing an available spot on your homescreen for a few seconds or tapping the + icon in the top right, which opens the widgets gallery. The app is listed as Docs. You can drag and drop it to your desired homescreen.

Android Widget Gallery   Get Easy Access To Your Documents Stored Online With Google Docs For Android

Verdict

The Google Docs app is great for accessing and reading your Google documents. However, I would not recommend to create and edit documents with it. Overall, I find the app very useful and hope that Google will continue to develop and improve it.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

4 Comments -

0 votes

craig

Is there a way to lock the top row of a spreadsheet in the android app?  It is easy to lose your bearings in a big spreadsheet…

0 votes

Tina

Craig,

theoretically, it should be possible in the spreadsheet desktop view, which is available. However, for me there are some bugs, which results in drop-down menus to not be fully visible. So sadly, it was not possible when I tested.

0 votes

Misspechey91

is their anyway you can access your apps that are on your phone on the internet? my phone isnt workng and i need to get information from an app on my phone, can i do that on the internet???? please email misspechey91@hotmail.com much appriciated!

0 votes

Tina

I’m afraid I don’t know of a way. I would guess that if you didn’t sync your data in some way before your phone stopped working, it’s not possible. It also depends on what phone you have – iPhone or Android?

Maybe we can help you to fix your phone so that you can access your data. I recommend that you ask this question at MakeUseOf Answers.