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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Just a few weeks ago, Google announced the launch of Google Docs editing on the iPad and Android platforms via a lightweight mobile interface. Google had previewed the feature a few months earlier, and users had been anticipating the release as another reason to turn to the free web-based productivity platform.


114917-google_docs_desktop_ipad_500.jpg


But while the mobile version of Google Docs offered a fair number of tools for editing documents, it didn't offer the full complement of options available through the desktop version of Google Docs. That changed yesterday with Google's announcement that the desktop version of Google Docs is now compatible with the iPad, allowing for additional editing capabilities when needed.
The new mobile editor is fast and lightweight, but sometimes you want to make more style edits like changing a font, or center aligning a paragraph. If you're on an iPad, you can do that by visiting the Desktop version of the document editor.
As noted in the announcement, Google views the mobile version of Google Docs as being the primary vehicle for documenting editing given its optimization for working on lower-powered mobile hardware, but the new iPad compatibility for the desktop version gives users the option for "one-off times" requiring more advanced edits.

Unfortunately, TUAW points out that the desktop Google Docs doesn't function perfectly on the iPad, with some features still being unsupported and some quirky behaviors that may frustrate users.

Article Link: Desktop Version of Google Docs Now iPad-Compatible
 

rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
3,140
0
this sounds great, i'm sure it's not perfect. But it's a step in the right direction.

My thoughts exactly! It's great to see Google finally getting this up and running. I cant stand crummy 'Pages' - Google Docs provides so much more flexibility :)
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
It seems like all this and Pages Mobile do is point out how bad the ipad is for work. It's annoyingly difficult just to organize some text.
 

SidewaysTakumi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2010
793
133
Texas
This is great news. Our school uses Google Docs for a few different purposes and the all the principals are getting iPads...they can edit, add and create on the go!
 

jhiner

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
127
0
I don't understand. Why can't the regular version of Google Docs "just work"? I thought the iPad/iPhone really pushed the fact that you are using the "Real web" not some mobil-fied version of it. Can anyone explain it to me?
 

arkmannj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2003
1,728
513
UT
It seems like all this and Pages Mobile do is point out how bad the ipad is for work. It's annoyingly difficult just to organize some text.

perhaps they will add support for a Bluetooth mouse/track-pad to work within apps for the future. Apple did eventually add keyboard support so who knows, it could happen.
 

ucdortbes

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2010
19
0
I don't understand. Why can't the regular version of Google Docs "just work"? I thought the iPad/iPhone really pushed the fact that you are using the "Real web" not some mobil-fied version of it. Can anyone explain it to me?

Because iPad is a touch-controlled device while such web applications like Google Docs are designed to be operated via a mouse. If you tried that barely-working version (which in fact was compatible with iPad for a while, don't know why they announced it today) you will see that it is hard to select text etc. because you are supposed to be using a navigate and click device (eg. a mouse).
 

SidewaysTakumi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2010
793
133
Texas
Yeah I used the previous version and it was ok for some entry but I could see the limitations when doing more complex entries/changes.
 

RawBert

macrumors 68000
Jan 19, 2010
1,729
70
North Hollywood, CA
Just played with it for a few. It's hard to format a spreadsheet but it can be done.
Definitely a step in the right direction.

EDIT: Just gotta learn how to work on the iPad with this and you can do all the basics. It's got a lot of features. Very nice, Google.
 
Last edited:

Simmias

macrumors regular
May 22, 2010
135
336
The problem with Pages for iPad is that there's no easy way to sync and edit my documents across multiple machines, including my work PC. Google Docs allows me to open a document from any device and edit it without worrying about version control. It was an improvement to add iDisk and WebDAV support to Pages, but I still have to manually upload and download files instead of just having them automatically sync with the server. Worse, there's no way to edit Pages documents from my PC without exporting to a .doc file and then merging my changes back into the original later. Google is really pushing a seamless experience across all devices, and it's becoming more and more tempting. All Apple has to do is offer a way to sync with Dropbox or iWork.com, and some basic editing capabilities on iWork.com (so I can edit from my PC) and I will be happy. Hurry up with your cloud services, Apple!
 

pmz

macrumors 68000
Nov 18, 2009
1,949
0
NJ
No thanks, Google has given me sufficient reason never to use their services again.
 

polaris20

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2008
2,491
753
It seems like all this and Pages Mobile do is point out how bad the ipad is for work. It's annoyingly difficult just to organize some text.

It works fine for me, and am actually using it for work right now. Perhaps you're doing something wrong?
 

jhiner

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
127
0
Because iPad is a touch-controlled device while such web applications like Google Docs are designed to be operated via a mouse. If you tried that barely-working version (which in fact was compatible with iPad for a while, don't know why they announced it today) you will see that it is hard to select text etc. because you are supposed to be using a navigate and click device (eg. a mouse).

I hear your point, but that still doesn't explain why Safari Mobile can't support the features of Google Docs. Just because the iPad uses your finger instead of a mouse and keyboard, that doesn't mean it should be able to load a Google Docs Spreadsheet and edit a cell without having an entirely different version. One wouldn't think so, at least.

If the features worked, but were hard to use, I would understand your point more. However, most of the features just didn't work before.
 

Simmias

macrumors regular
May 22, 2010
135
336
I hear your point, but that still doesn't explain why Safari Mobile can't support the features of Google Docs. Just because the iPad uses your finger instead of a mouse and keyboard, that doesn't mean it should be able to load a Google Docs Spreadsheet and edit a cell without having an entirely different version. One wouldn't think so, at least.

If the features worked, but were hard to use, I would understand your point more. However, most of the features just didn't work before.

The answer is that mobile Safari lacks a tag called "ConentEditable" that is needed for editing rich text in desktop browsers. Other mobile browsers also lack the ContentEditable feature. Apparently, Google has been re-writing GoogleDocs so that it does not rely on ContentEditable, possibly using HTML5 standards as an alternative. See here for more detail:

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google Docs/thread?tid=621ad46f8aa70336&hl=en
 

citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
The problem with Pages for iPad is that there's no easy way to sync and edit my documents across multiple machines, including my work PC. Google Docs allows me to open a document from any device and edit it without worrying about version control. It was an improvement to add iDisk and WebDAV support to Pages, but I still have to manually upload and download files instead of just having them automatically sync with the server. Worse, there's no way to edit Pages documents from my PC without exporting to a .doc file and then merging my changes back into the original later. Google is really pushing a seamless experience across all devices, and it's becoming more and more tempting. All Apple has to do is offer a way to sync with Dropbox or iWork.com, and some basic editing capabilities on iWork.com (so I can edit from my PC) and I will be happy. Hurry up with your cloud services, Apple!

I actually agree with this. All I need is dropbox syncing.
 

JohnDoe98

macrumors 68020
May 1, 2009
2,488
99
The problem with Pages for iPad is that there's no easy way to sync and edit my documents across multiple machines, including my work PC. Google Docs allows me to open a document from any device and edit it without worrying about version control. It was an improvement to add iDisk and WebDAV support to Pages, but I still have to manually upload and download files instead of just having them automatically sync with the server. Worse, there's no way to edit Pages documents from my PC without exporting to a .doc file and then merging my changes back into the original later. Google is really pushing a seamless experience across all devices, and it's becoming more and more tempting. All Apple has to do is offer a way to sync with Dropbox or iWork.com, and some basic editing capabilities on iWork.com (so I can edit from my PC) and I will be happy. Hurry up with your cloud services, Apple!

it is called ReaddleDocs... That App will sync all your MobileMe files. So just navigate to your files from it, then use the open in Pages feature, make your edits, and have Pages save the file to the MobileMe iDisk.
 

daffy

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2010
3
0
Syncing

Is there any better solution out there yet for syncing between the iPad and Mac? Dropbox is very well done, but it's still clunkier than it should be... I shouldn't have to think about synchronization at all... my files should just be there, on whatever device i'm using at the time...
 

jhiner

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
127
0
The answer is that mobile Safari lacks a tag called "ConentEditable" that is needed for editing rich text in desktop browsers. Other mobile browsers also lack the ContentEditable feature. Apparently, Google has been re-writing GoogleDocs so that it does not rely on ContentEditable, possibly using HTML5 standards as an alternative. See here for more detail:

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google Docs/thread?tid=621ad46f8aa70336&hl=en

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder why Apple refuses to support ContentEditable??
 

Stvwndr219

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2009
251
0
Man, and I thought I was so cool when I got docsToGo for my Blackberry... This does give more credibility to the iPad being a netbook killer...
 

davidsol

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2007
17
0
ipad client for Google docs editing

To work around the issues with mobile Safari and multitouch gestures, another solution is to create an ipad client that lets you edit google docs, and synchronizes remotely with the google server, and gives you all the file management permissions, file sharing settings, and so on that you find in the desktop version of Google docs. By skipping the browser, and creating a dedicated client for ipad, you can leapfrog over the doldrums of getting multitouch into the desktop version on Safari etc etc.

So, here's the question: all the recommended apps for "editing" google docs on the ipad get pretty mixed reviews (bad reviews). Any thoughts on what is, in fact, the best Google Doc client? I would buy one if it had 4+ starts from 100+ reviewers... but alas, the App Store has no such product with this level of approval. Thoughts?
 
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