Google achieved a minor milestone for Google Docs, announcing Wednesday that it would be available in offline mode for Android.
Docs Offline for Android only allows a user to view it on a tablet or phone without an internet connection, but won't allow editing -- the highly sought after feature that might make it comparable in function to Microsoft Office.
The offline Android app follows Google's 2011 release of Offline Gmail, Docs and Calendar for Chrome desktop, which brought in features available on its HTML5 iPad app.
Those apps are also made for viewing but not editing.
Last September, Google acknowledged that users wanted to edit Docs offline and said it was planning to deliver the capability "in the future" but it has not said when that could occur.
Docs Offline for Android includes Google presentations, spreadsheets, uploaded images, and documents formats .pdf and Microsoft Office files, .doc (Word), .xls (Excel) and .ppt (PowerPoint), according to Google's support page.
Google Sites, Google drawings, Google forms, Fusion Tables and collections can’t be made available offline, it added.
To make a document available offline, the device must have a connection to the internet. Using a drop down menu on the right hand side of the screen of Android tablets, users can select "Make available offline".
The support page also explains how to enable offline functionality on Android phones.
Requests for a document to be moved offline can be made without a connection. However it would not be saved locally until the device regains connectivity.
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Issue: 324 | February 2014
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