SiliconFilter

Google Docs for Android Now Lets you Collaborate On the Go

/

Google Docs may not be as fully featured as a full-blown productivity suite like Microsoft Office, but its collaboration features are something many of its users can’t live without anymore. Until now, though, you couldn’t edit documents collaboratively when you were on your phone. That’s changing today. Android users can now install the latest version of Google Apps for Android and start using Google Apps’ real-time collaborative editing features on the go.

In addition to this new feature, Google also updated the overall interface of the app a bit. You can now, for example, pinch to zoom and focus on a paragraph (or zoom out, of course, to see the whole document). More importantly, though, Google also added rich-text formatting so you can now bold words, add color or write a bullet list.

As usual, Google also produced a nice little video that shows off the power of being able to edit and collaborate on your documents on your phone.

Enhanced by Zemanta

If you are a big Google Apps user, by the way, you will also appreciate the fact that Google presentations that now features a new editor and the ability to have discussions about presentations.



11:28 am


Google Docs Gets Customizable Styles, Sparklines and Google+ Sharing for Forms

/

Google just announced some welcome new features for Google Docs. Maybe the most important of these updates is Google Doc's new-found ability to apply changes to a document's style and formatting across the document with just a few clicks. This means that if you want to change how subtitles look, for example, you don't have to go through the whole document anymore and change them one by one. Instead, you just change the style of your subtitles once and then apply it to the whole document. If you use Microsoft Word or Apple's Pages, for example, you know that this isn't a revolutionary new feature, but it can definitely save you quite a bit of time.

Sparklines google docs

Sparklines in Google Docs

In addition to the new customizable styles, the spreadsheet application now also features support for sparklines, an increasingly popular way of presenting data in a glanceable visual format. Other new options for spreadsheets in Google Docs include the ability to create more sophisticated charts "including different Y-axes on either side of the chart, formatting options for the axis and title text, and all sorts of other customization for how your lines, bars, or pies are displayed."

Sharing Forms

Google already featured Google+ sharing in Google Docs, but with today's update, it also lets you share right from the form editor.

But there's more…

In an interesting move that becoming more common among Google products, the Google Docs team has also decided to bundle new feature announcements instead of writing a new blog post and announcement for each small update. Here then are the other updates Google made to Docs over the last month:[list]

  • Adding images to your docs from a high quality stock photo gallery. Simply go to Insert > Image, select Stock photos, and then search for the images that you want.
  • A more streamlined format for document discussion notifications that batches multiple discussions into a single email.
  • Quickly opening and selecting items from specific menus with keyboard accelerators. For example, when using Google Chrome, Ctrl+Option+E on a Mac and Alt+E on Windows or Linux will open the Edit menu.
  • Copying and pasting via the context (right click) menu in documents when you have the Chrome App installed.
  • Easily adding Google drawings or Google Groups discussions to a Google Site from the Insert menu.[/list]

 


11:29 am


Google Docs Presentations Get Real-Time Collaboration, Transitions and Animations

/

Just about a year and a half ago, most of Google’s productivity apps in the Google Docs suite received major overhauls that brought real-time collaboration and a number of other new features to Google’s online document, spreadsheet and drawing tools. One tools that was left out of that refresh at the time was Google’s online PowerPoint rival Google Docs presentations. Today, Google is changing this by bringing real-time collaboration, animations, rich tables and about 50 more new features to the presentations application.

While the apps feature set obviously can’t quite compete with Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote, making easy collaboration the focal point of the product gives it a competitive edge. As Google notes, “the best presentations are made together, collaborating with others to build a compelling story that captivates your audience.” Now, with Google Wave-like character-by-character real-time collaboration, that should get a bit easier for Google Docs users.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft, with its Office Web Apps is also now making online collaboration a focal point of its web initiatives and that the online PowerPoint app does offer a number of features (and great document fidelity) than Google.

image

Here are some of the other new features that Google highlights: [list]

  • Transitions: to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations: to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes: to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings: to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

[/list]

Getting Started

Google notes that these new features were designed for modern browsers. Anything newer than Firefox 4, Safari 4 and Internet Explorer, as well as Google’s own Chrome browser should work fine, though.

To get started, head to the “Document settings” from your document list and check the box next to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.”

Enhanced by Zemanta


3:52 pm


About Time: Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs Get Offline Access

/

Google just announced that it is finally launching offline access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs. Once upon a time, Google allowed users to access their data offline through Gears, but the company shelved this effort in 2010 and never replaced it. Now, Chrome users can install a new pluginfrom Google that will give them offline access to Gmail offline. Docs and Calendar users will be able to download the respective plugins over the next few weeks.

Gmailoffline

One caveat, though, is that you can’t edit documents in the offline mode. That’s probably a deal-breaker for some, but it’s definitely better than having no access to your documents on that non-WiFi equipped plane. Google hopes to offer offline editing in the future, though.

Gmail and Calendar, on the other hand, will allow you to perform virtually all your regular activities offline as well.

Getting Started with Offline Gmail

To access Gmail offline, you can’t just unplug your computer and keep using Gmail. Instead, you have to open a new tab and launch the Gmail offline app from there. Interestingly, the offline interface is pretty much the same as the Gmail tablet interface.

Chrome-Only For Now

For the time being, of course, this new functionality is only available in Chrome and ChromeOS. Google says that it hopes to bring this functionality to other browsers in the future. In a slight jab against its competitors in the browser arena, Google notes that those will get these features once they “support advanced functionality.”

Enhanced by Zemanta


4:24 pm