Google Drive for iOS adds editing, unless you count spreadsheets

Google(s goog) should silence some of its critics with iPads(s aapl) and iPhones after adding document editing for docs in Google Drive. The updated software, version 1.1, was released on Monday and can be found for free in the iTunes App Store. I installed it on my iOS devices and the document editing is solid on both my iPad and my iPhone 4S.

When Google released the first iteration of its Drive app in late June, iOS users were understandably disappointed by the lack of document editing. But even though Google shows spreadsheet editing on an iPad in the below informational video, the feature isn’t supported.

Here’s a look at the video, which also shows some collaboration features and new functionality for Android devices. Watch at the 0:50 mark.


I tried to edit a spreadsheet on my iPad in Google Drive, but there’s no Edit button; it only appears for documents. The video demonstration may be showing what Google is working on however as I researched spreadsheet editing for Drive and found this tidbit on the official support page:

“Google spreadsheets can currently be viewed and edited only through the mobile browser. We’re working on an iOS-native editor for Google spreadsheets.”

The same holds true for creating new documents; you can’t create a new spreadsheet — or a presentation, for that matter — from an iOS device. Your only option is to create a new text document.

Google Drive collaboration on the iPadThis rather large limitation aside, I like the document editing function for Google Drive. The full editing menu doesn’t fit on the small screen of an iPhone or iPod touch, but slides nicely across the top of the display as needed.

And if you have other applications that support the viewing of editing of Google Docs, you can send your files to those apps directly within Google Drive: Think Evernote as one example that I saw.

Updates such as this for Google Drive are welcome, of course. It’s odd to me, however, that instead of using the Drive app, I’m still turning to Office2 HD to create and edit all types of documents on my Google Drive from an iPad. I’ve been using the $8 app since the original iPad launched in 2010 and it still delivers a far better experience than Google’s own app.