A requiem for just about every commercial mobile office suite ever.

I first caught the news via the Android Guys a couple of days ago, and it’s fairly huge. Google is now making Google Docs editable on Android devices — and for good measure the wildly-popular hobbled Apple Internet appliances as well.

Off the top of my head, the following products have just been made irrelevant — at least for these two mobile operating systems:

DataViz and QuickOffice are probably safe for the time being — the former is now owned by Research In Motion and the latter comes bundled on Nokia’s enterprise-grade handsets. But honestly, would anyone in the market for a new smartphone not be swayed by a free office suite with redundant web backup and collaboration built-in?

As with any cloud-based data service there are some important security concerns to consider. Google probably won’t be hacked anytime soon but they might well scrape your uploaded documents to serve you more targeted advertising — or in a worst-case scenario they might be asked to turn over your uploaded files to Homeland Security.

But like so many other Google products, the convenience (and price) are fairly compelling.

I’ve tried it on my Nexus One and it works as promised. As everything is done in the browser a working Internet connection is needed, but as I wrote previously that’s pretty much par for the course with an Android device.

Looks like I’ll be ending my OfficeSuite for Android trial a little early… 😎

4 comments:

  1. AC:
    I’ll have to give Google Docs a try on my iPhone, er–crippled internet appliance, but I can’t see myself using a mobile phone to edit docs on such a small screen, at least not on a regular basis.

    On the other hand, the ability to carry docs with me that I can access and email from anywhere, is impressive.

    I had Documents to Go on my now-retired Palm Tungsten, and it was one reason I was still using a Palm device up to this year. It was stable and I never had issues moving docs from the Palm to my Macs or PCs. A classmate in a Ryerson course used his Tungsten and DTG, with the external keyboard, to take notes in class. I stuck with paper and pen.

    Maybe it’s just me–how much can you do on a small screen?

    Ed

  2. Quite a lot, actually. I regularly log my expenses while out and about and I’ve taken notes on my phone for about as long as I can remember.

    Screen size isn’t really an issue with this whole pinch and spread business, and Swype is a godsend for text entry on touch screens.

  3. AC:

    Must just be me then! I’m a bit spoiled–at work I have an external monitor as well as the laptop one, so I’m used to a lot of real estate.

    I am going to give Google a try on my hobbled device, though. I used Docs to Go for notes, expenses, and to copy my pay stub info from our online HR site (saving paper), so it’d be good to pinch and spread again (that sounds so dirty…).

    Ed

  4. Ok, so one thing: the mobile (i.e. web) version of Google Docs will only let you edit one line at a time. If for whatever reason you wanted to select all the text/cells in a document for copying you’d have to do that on a desktop computer.

    Not at all a deal-breaker for me, but as the saying goes your mileage may vary…

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