Google has released standalone apps for Google Docs and Google Sheets, with Slides coming soon, breaking out these productivity applications from within Google Drive, which is where users could go to access them on iPhone and iPad in the past. The text document, spreadsheet and presentation editors allow for both creation and editing of those types of files, which are stored in Google Drive on Mountain View’s cloud servers.
So far, it looks like the apps are basically the same as the in-app editors and viewers included in Google Drive, but that should mean they offer up everything users need to get creating and modifying documents in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Office content. The timing is interesting given how recently Microsoft launched their own suite of Office apps for iPad, and we expect a dedicated version of Google Presentations to follow shortly. Google also now has added offline support to the standalone apps, so they can be used without a connection.
It’s also worth noting that more big companies seem to be keen on unbundling functionality from more centralized apps, making multiple pieces of software designed for a specific purpose instead. Facebook has done this with its apps, for instance, and that’s a stated goal of the social network company going forward.
The apps are available on Google Play and the App Store, and Google is going to be prompting people to download the standalone versions when they click the document creation links in the Drive app over the next little while to spur migration.