October 17, 2007 |
The Google Help Center has posted that the only devices officially supported are the iPhone and Blackberry devices while only mentioning for owners of other mobile devices that "a good rule of thumb is that the more advanced your phone's browsing capabilities, the more seamlessly Google Docs will work." This leads me to believe that this is more of an open beta release to be tested, and not an official release from Google, as there do appear to be some other limitations to the features that can be accessed.
The clean and simple mobile homepage prominently displays a search box at the top, making it very easy to find a specific document among many. Below this, breaking from the arrangement of the desktop version, Google Docs Mobile displays a user's most recent documents for quick access, followed by links to all documents, folders, starred items and trash.
Missing from the current version, though, is the ability for users to edit documents, although they can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel (XLS) format. Also, access to presentations seems to be limited to iPhone owners.
The look of spreadsheets has also been modified for maximum mobile-friendliness, with only a single column being displayed at a time on screen, as shown in the screenshot. There is a link at the top of each column for users to move on to the next or previous column, and the helpful ability to view a single row in the same manner (albeit vertically instead of horizontally). Additionally, users can navigate to a specific cell by inputting its coordinates (ex: A1 or B2).
Providing mobile access to documents is a very exciting development, but the current lack of the ability to edit documents should be addressed soon. That shouldn't be a problem though, since Google has really been focused on the Gphone and all of the applications that will comprise its mobile operating system. This is only the latest release in Google's recent barrage of mobile moves including the announcement of AdSense for mobile and the acquisition of Zingku.