Today at Google I/O, Clay Bavor, director of product management for Google Apps, announced that Google Docs will now work for offline editing. Bavor proved it by opening a Google Doc via Google Drive right on stage, entering in offline text.
The Google Docs offline editing should work on multiple devices, including the Chromebook and smartphones. All formatting changes will now be saved to a local cache and then synched to Google Docs once the user gets back online.
Google is also working on Spreadsheets and Presentations Bavor said, but Docs is the first iteration of this offline support.
It’s actually surprising that Docs users haven’t been able to edit offline thus far, as cloud apps like Evernote have offered offline editing for awhile.
In fact, Docs itself actually used to have this feature, through Google Gears, but it wasn’t fast enough and was killed. This new iteration synched up in a second during Bavor’s demo, so hopefully it fares better.
“If you’re flying back from Google io, try it on the plane,” He said, “It works great.” The feature will be available for those taking flights (and everybody else) later today.