Google Docs for Android adds real-time collaboration

Android smartphone and tablet owners can collaborate on documents from their devices with the updated version of Google Docs for Android, released on Wednesday. The software, supporting Android 2.1(s goog) devices and up, adds the same real-time collaboration found in the full web version of Google Docs on a laptop or desktop.

This real-time interaction in documents is another example of how mobile devices allow people to work together from practically any connected location. With the new Google Docs, owners of a document can invite others to view or even edit a document. Different authors input appears in various colors to identify who is writing or changing what text.

Google also tweaked the application interface to better support smaller screen and added improved formatting options:

“For example, you can pinch to zoom and focus on a specific paragraph or see the whole document at a glance. We also added rich text formatting so you can do things like create a quick bullet list, add color to your documents, or just bold something important.”

Google Docs on mobile devices hasn’t evolved nearly as quickly as the full web version so this new update, found in the Android Market, will be a welcome addition to Android smartphones and tablets. I suspect that we’ll see a faster update cycle on the mobile version going forward as well; now that smartphone adoption is in full swing, Google has to improve its productivity tools for a more mobile population.