Collaboration Coming Soon: Google Docs for iPad, Android Mobile Devices
Google this week said that it will begin offering its Google Docs productivity suite for the iPad and Android-powered mobile devices in the next few weeks, giving mobile users the ability to work and collaborate in real time from their smartphones.
In a blog post on its website, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said enterprise workers will be able to "co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices," and, unsaid, give iPad users a viable alternative to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iWorks presentation, word processing and spreadsheet management suite.
The announcement was made at this week's Google Atmosphere cloud computing conference in Paris where the company bragged that more than 3 million companies and 30 million users are now using its cloud-based messaging and collaboration tools.
"Only cloud computing is able to deliver the whole package of productivity-enhancing collaboration, superior reliability and virtually unlimited scale at a price that's affordable for any size organization," company officials said.
Google didn't enumerate all the devices running its Android mobile operating system that will support Google Docs, though iPad users can now read Google Docs files on their devices, but will need a third-party application for editing.
For enterprise customers increasingly opting for cloud-based productivity offerings to service their employees and reduce internal IT department responsibilities and costs, the prospect of migrating their workforces to Google Docs for free would certainly take some of the shine off of iWorks, which costs $10 per application.
In June, Google updated Google Docs with new settings to simplify the distribution of documents, presentations and files to various groups and users within the enterprise.