Google Updates Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Google today rolled out updates to its core productivity apps associated with Google Drive. The chief new feature is the ability to edit Microsoft Word documents - online or offline - natively with no need for plugins or conversions. Google Docs users will be able to make whatever edits they need to Word documents and send them back as Word files. Google Drive also brings Slides to mobile devices for the first time. Android smartphone and tablet owners can now create, edit, and interact with slide presentations on their mobile devices. Another new feature is called Suggested Edits. Using a new tool called Commenting Access, document owners can give others the ability to add comments or suggestions to documents, but not the power to make actual edits. This leaves the document owner in control. Last, Google has given Drive a performance boost both on mobile devices (Android and iOS) and the web. Google says Drive now takes advantage of background syncing so files load faster, and the cloud-based storage service delivers search results quicker, too. The new versions of Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides will be available in the Play Store and iTunes App Store beginning today.
Cortana for Android Now Works On the Lock Screen
Microsoft today made it possible for Android device owners to access and use Cortana above the lock screen on their smartphones. Microsoft has been testing the feature since earlier this year and is now rolling it out to all users.
Google Hits Refresh on Docs, Sheets, Slides for Android
Google has updated all three of its Android productivity apps with a focus on notifications. For example, people will now see notifications within their Google Drive Android app whenever someone mentions them in a comment or shares a document with them directly.
Google Releases Docs and Sheets Apps for Android and iOS
Google today made available stand-alone Google Docs and Google Sheets applications for mobile devices running Android and iOS, including smartphones and tablets. Previously, Docs and Sheets were bundled inside the Google Drive application.
Google Eases Drive Functionality for Android
Google today updated its Google Drive application for Android devices with some user-requested features that help the app perform more seamlessly. For example, users who preview files in Drive can open the file directly in their favorite editing program from the preview screen.