Google updates Drive apps for Android, iOS

Users will get more functionality to create, edit, upload, and organize files

Google has upgraded the iOS and Android applications for its Drive cloud-storage service, giving users more capabilities for creating, editing, uploading and organizing files, the company announced on Monday.

Until now, the iOS Drive application only allowed users to view Google Document word processing files. However, the new version adds the ability to create new word processing documents, edit existing ones, format their text and see edits being made by other users in real time.

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Meanwhile, the Android application now lets users add and reply to comments, as well as view tables in Google word processing documents.

Also new in both the iOS and Android Drive applications are the ability to view Google Presentation files, as well as create folders, move files into them and upload files.

Next on the upgrade agenda is giving users of the Android and iOS applications the ability to edit and collaborate in real time on Google Spreadsheet files.

The Web-based version of Drive that can be accessed via Windows, Mac OS, and Chrome OS computers has these and other features not yet available in the mobile applications.

With the use of tablets and smartphones catching fire in enterprises, user demand for office productivity applications in those mobile devices is rising accordingly.

There is speculation that Microsoft may at some point release iOS and Android versions of its Office suite applications. For example, Microsoft already has iOS and Android versions of Office's OneNote application.

In the meantime, Google clearly sees an opportunity to position its Docs suite, which includes the Document, Spreadsheet and Presentation cloud applications, as alternatives for iOS and Android users.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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