Google has a new update for its Google Docs app for Android, which includes offline access and improvements for tablets.
“There may be times when you don’t have an Internet connection on your Android device, but you still want access to a file you’ve saved in Google Docs,” says Google software engineer Freeman Liu. “Now you can select any file in Google Docs to make it available offline. So regardless of whether you’re connected to the internet, you’re always connected to those files.”
This includes: documents, presentations, spreadsheets, uploaded images, and files in formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls and .ppt. Google Sites, Google drawings, Google forms, Fusion Tables and collections can’t be made available offline.
Note that you need an Internet connection to make files available offline to begin with. You can make an item available offline while you’re connected, or you can request to make an item available offline while you’re disconnected, and it will update the next time your device regains connectivity.
“Even better, Google Docs automatically updates your offline files when you’re on Wi-Fi,” adds Liu. “You can also manually update files anytime you have a data connection by opening the file or tapping ‘Update’ from the Offline section of the app.”
In the offline section, files will be designated as “up to date,” “out of date,” or “not yet available”. They will be listed as not yet available if your device hasn’t downloaded the item yet.
As far as the tablet improvements, when you open a document on your tablet while online, you’ll get a high-res version, and you can swipe to flip between pages (or use the slider at the bottom to go more quickly).