Separate Docs and Sheets apps are now required for creating and editing documents
A new version of the Google Drive app hit the Play Store and App Store on Friday. In a move Google had telegraphed a couple of days earlier with the release of standalone Docs and Sheets apps for both platforms, the latest Drive app no longer lets you edit documents.
It was last April that Google rolled out eh new, and much prettier, version of Google Docs. But El Goog is giving us a new feature to play with. The next time you create a new Google document, be prepared to see the improved Discussions system. Discussions are basically an amalgamation of email and chat that can make proofreading a document easier.
Google has always touted the collaboration capabilities of its web-based Docs suite. This obviously means that it has something to talk about every time it rolls out a new feature to enhance this particular ability. It has now added “collaborative highlighting” to Docs, which lets users “see the text that other editors are highlighting as they select it.”
According to Peter Solderitsch, a Google Software Engineer, “writing a document collaboratively in Google Docs is like playing a team sport. It’s one thing to see your co-editors’ cursors and know where they are. But to really work well together, it helps to know what they’re about to do. Today we’ve made it much easier to anticipate the changes other editors are about to make.”
Back in April, it launched a new version of Docs with many new real-time collaboration features.
It's hard to deny the power of Google Docs, especially if you don't have the cash (or the wherewithal) to shell out for Microsoft Office. Sure, you could grab OpenOffice.org, but you would trade away the ability to edit your documents from any Internet-equipped location-one of Google Doc's important, Cloud-based features... as well as its ability to allow multiple users to simultaneously edit a document. You just can't get this kind of stuff in an offline word processor!
Of course, that's not to say that you can't use Google Docs offline. Nor are applications like Microsoft Word completely removed from the Internet-there's Microsoft Office Live for that, if you're so inclined.
Anyway, the point of this Freeware Files is not to confuse you in feature-lists or semantics. I'm here to show you just how easy it is to set up your system to use both offline and online word processing tools. Provided you're ready to jump into the wide world of Google Docs, all of the freeware and open-source applications listed below will do much to help integrate online editing and storage into your traditional offline type-type-typing.
It's only fair that Google's browser, Chrome, use a Google-based service in this week's extension of the week. The name of the add-on is Send to Google Docs, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the ins and outs of this little tweak.
I was originally scanning around for an interesting way to tweak the functionality of a PDF in the Chrome browser. In stumbling across Send to Google Docs, I was intrigued by the solution: Rather than simply sticking more save options onto the download bar, Send to Google Docs gave a far better deal.
It's kind of annoying to have to wade through a bunch of PDFs on one's hard drive. Depending on your reader of choice, clicking through PDF after PDF can eat up a lot of system resources... and a lot of time. Why not just stuff these files in the cloud and let Google's speedy rendering engine take care of the rest? Or, better yet, allow Google to convert these PDF files into a format that can be edited straight through Google Docs itself?
Remember that old maxim that says we use only about 10 percent of our brain’s capacity? It’s been proven as hokum by modern neuroscience, but we think we can safely apply the same basic analogy to Google: The vast, vast, vast majority of computer users—even those practiced in hardcore nerdery—are almost certainly using a pitiful fraction of all the applications and features intrinsic to Google’s ever-expanding matrix of software code.
Sure, a Maximum PC reader may be well-versed in Google’s advanced search operators (Google allintext: “advanced search operators” if you missed that chapter), but we’re willing to wager that even the most curious among you haven’t taken the time to play with more than a few Google applications, let alone explore all their advanced features. Indeed, Google HQ is a fan-friggin’-amazing hotbed of R&D, but its developers are relatively quiet about the tools they’ve released. And that’s a shame, because Google’s constant innovation should get more press.
To address your inevitable Google knowledge deficit, we commissioned Gina Trapani to share her favorite tips. Gina launched Lifehacker.com, writes about Google for a bazillion media outlets, co-hosts the “This Week In Google” netcast, and pretty much makes it her job to know as much as possible about Google’s sundry apps and features.
According to Google, if you’ve got valuable documents out on their Google Docs suite of applications, you shouldn’t worry your pretty little head off. According to them, the alleged issues are smoke and mirrors.
In an official blog post by Jonathan Rochelle, Google Docs’ Product Manager, he explains, “At Google, we treat the privacy and integrity of our users' data with the highest priority. We quickly investigated, and we believe that these concerns do not pose a significant security risk to our users. If you want the details, read on...”
The blog post continues to meticulously break down and debunk the issues that the analyst, Ade Barkah, had brought to their attention.
Though, Google did admit that earlier this month a glitch in Docs caused some user documents to be exposed to those without proper permissions. The problem occurred amongst users that had previously shared documents, but reportedly affected less than 0.05 percent of the documents.
Last week’s Gmail outage, which lasted for about 28 hours, has once again highlighted a major shortcoming of cloud computing and web-based services. The incidence exemplifies cloud computing skeptics’ greatest concern that unheralded disruptions in cloud computing services might cost businesses’ and individuals dearly.
Some Gmail users – including paying Google Apps subscribers - couldn’t access their accounts between 16 and 17 October. Incensed users expressed their indignation across the internet, while Mark, a Google Apps adviser, provided regular updates on the status of the issue, as long as it lasted.
Earlier this year, Amazon’s Simple Storage Service remained unavailable for 8 hours. That particular episode had also spawned similar questions regarding cloud computing. Companies will have to come out with ways to keep outages to a negligible count.