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Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Introduction to the New Google Drive iPad Apps That Offer Better Offline Support

This is guest post from Samantha Morra of EdTechTeacher.org, an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Google just announced new apps for Google Drive. Earlier this month, I wrote about how Google Drive is one of the Two Free Google Apps that Bring Out the Best in an iPad. As much as I like the Drive app, I have been hoping for some more features when working in Docs and sheets - like the Research tool. When I heard that Google had created some new apps, I just had to check them out. With these new apps, Google split parts of Google Drive into individual apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Docs and Sheets are out now for both iPad and Android. Slides will be coming soon. All of the apps are free and Google Drive is still available. Right now there are really only three ways in which the apps differ from the Drive app.
  1. Each app is now dedicated to just one individual tool in Google Drive.
  2. When you open the app, you see your most recently edited files of that type only, which does mean less time searching and scrolling.
  3. The apps have better built-in offline support, so you can easily view, edit and create files without being online.
When the new Slides app comes out, you will be able to create and edit presentations, so that will be a great new feature. Like I said, I was hoping for more features, but these apps seem like a step in the right direction. The Google Drive app is still an important tool on iPads, Android devices, and computers. It is the bridge that connects all of the work that you create in Docs, Drive, and Slides with other apps. For workflow with other apps on your mobile devices, Google Drive is still a powerful tool to store, transfer and coordinate with other apps. With these new apps, you get the added benefit of easy access to the specific Google tools you need.
You can download the apps here:
New Google Docs Apps - Docs App for iPad, Docs App for Android   New Google Sheets App - Sheets App for iPad, Sheets App for Android Google Slides - Coming soon, though you can still view and present from Google Drive

Google Drive App - Google Drive for iPad, Google Drive for Android If you are new to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can find some great information here to get you started:
Samantha will be teaching all of these apps and more in a number of EdTechTeacher Summer Workshops. EdTechTeacher will also have a number of great Google Apps sessions and workshops at their July 28-30 ETT Summit in Chicago.