As a freelance writer, it’s hard for me to remember a time when I wasn’t so dependent on Google Docs. I collaborate regularly with a few different organizations using Docs, and it’s also just another great way to back up my work.
So of course, because I am increasingly dependent on my iPhone for pretty much everything work-related, I had to check out GoDocs Pro, a Google Docs app designed by LightRoom. Will I be using it regularly? Absolutely.
Just to be clear, GoDocs Pro doesn’t allow you to edit your Google Docs on your iPhone – the purpose is to have access to them (including different revisions), and to download offline versions of any Google docs and spreadsheets, which is particularly helpful if you’re working with a Touch and aren’t connected 100% of the time. You can also email documents right from GoDocs Pro.
The app opens to your online docs, which you can’t view until you enter your Google name and password in Settings. One thing I loved; you enter your log-in info exactly twice, once in settings, and the very first time you access your online docs, and that’s it. A long name makes for a long email address, and my password is complicated to the point of ridiculous. Call me lazy, but having to enter that stuff in every time I want to use the app would have been a big turn-off.
GoDocs Pro is simple to navigate – the three bottom tabs take you to Online Docs, Offline Docs, and Settings. In addition to your log-in info, Settings also allows you to choose whether you want your documents automatically loaded when the app starts, and whether you’d like to open to Online or Offline Docs.
After the initial sign-in, going to Online Docs requires you tap the refresh button in the top right corner. Your Google Docs appear in chronological order. Choosing one gives you the basic info (creator, last viewed, last edited), and allows you to easily delete, view online, star, or download the latest version. Very cool feature – select Revisions, and you can scroll through all of your saved versions by date and time, then download them into your Offline Docs.
Tapping View Online takes you straight to Google Docs – however, you’re still in the app, with access to the three tabs at the bottom. I’ve had too many apps in the past that take you to Safari with no clear way of getting back into the app, so I was pretty happy to see this. You can even access your Gmail, Groups, and Calendar without leaving GoDocs Pro. However, your place isn’t saved – if you jump over to Offline Docs, then back to Online, you’ll be back at the list of Google Docs. No big deal, since you aren’t doing any editing, but if you’re in the middle of reading it’s a good idea to finish it first before switching tabs.
In Offline Docs, you can see which revision you’re viewing, as well as the time and date it was downloaded. You can also delete and send the document in an email from the app – very useful. My only bit of criticism is the lack of landscape mode. But you can, of course, zoom in and out of the document.
If you’re looking for a quick, simple way to get into your Google Docs, download them for offline access, or email revisions to your colleagues, GoDocs Pro is definitely one to check out.
Update: GoDocs version 1.4 is out, with version 2.0 on the horizon. New features include revision and wi-fi sharing support, landscape mode and sorting features for online mode. GoDocs is also available for the iPad.
GoDocs Pro requires the iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with both iPhone and iPod Touch.