Google's new iOS apps let you create and edit documents and spreadsheets on the go. This week, Google debuted standalone, mobile versions of its Docs word processor and Sheets spreadsheet maker for iPhone and iPad, with a mobile version of the Slides presentation app coming soon.
A stripped-down version of those apps was already available in the form of the Google Drive suite for iOS. Google Drive's functionality is limited to letting you download, upload and share documents, spreadsheets and presentation files. In contrast, the new releases are full-featured apps with deep formatting options. Previously, the only way to access the full version of Google's productivity apps on iOS was to use the browser-based versions. The standalone apps offer a much more convenient way for business users to view, manage and edit their files.
Google's apps make a good choice for small businesses since these programs offer built-in collaboration tools. Since all documents you create are stored in the cloud, you can grant other users access to view and edit your files. Multiple users can even edit the same document in real time using the iOS apps. You can also save documents to your mobile device for offline editing; they'll sync to the cloud next time your device connects to the Internet.
Of course, iOS users have other good options for creating and editing documents on the go. Apple's own iWork suite comes installed on every new iPhone and iPad, and integrates seamlessly with the desktop version of iWork. Meanwhile, Microsoft recently released a full mobile version of its Office suite for iPad, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Still, the Google apps are a solid new option, especially if you already use Google Drive as a cloud storage platform to back up your work documents.