Google Spreadsheets can now be edited on Android mobile phones and iPhones. Up until now, all Google Docs (online docs, spreadsheets, and presentations) could only be viewed on mobile phones. Editable spreadsheets work inside the mobile browser, which for both Android and iPhone is based on Webkit.
Jonathan Rochelle, the senior product manager in charge of Google Spreadsheets, showed me the app on his Android G1 a couple weeks ago. As he added rows, edited, sorted, and filtered on his phone, the changes would automatically be reflected in the same spreadsheet on his desktop. (I took a photo of him doing this—with my iPhone, naturally). Each row can be edited by clicking on an “edit” link, and columns can be sorted via a box at the top of each one which then pops open an overlay screen that allows you to select each name or other variable you want to view in that column.
The feature went live this morning on Android G1 phones, but I am having trouble seeing it on my iPhone (that could be my phone, or the roll-out process to iPhones could be taking longer). Update: It is now working on my iPhone, although it is a bit buggy. The sort function brings up the slot-machine cylinder interface, but clicking on the Edit link doesn’t do anything. It works great on my Android, though. Nokia S60 series phones are also supported. You can check it out on a mobile phone by opening up the Google App or going to m.google.com/docs on your mobile browser.
The new feature will be welcomed by anyone who wants to change a spreadsheet while on the go. It works only when the phone is connected to the Internet (no Google Gears version yet). And it works only on spreadsheets. Docs and presentations remain view-only on mobile phones for now.
Update 2: Here is the Google Docs blog post on it.