Google lets third parties extend its productivity software on Android

Docs and Sheets now support add-ons from the likes of ProsperWorks and DocuSign

Google is using third parties to make its productivity apps more useful on Android. The company announced Thursday that it's now possible to bring functionality from apps like Scanbot, DocuSign, and ProsperWorks into Docs and Sheets on its mobile operating system.

The third-party add-ons will let users do things like access CRM data, start to electronically sign a document, and create mobile apps based on data they have stored in a spreadsheet. The new add-ons are aimed at making it easier for people to get work done within Google Docs and Sheets while they're on the go.

Google is in tight competition with Microsoft to attract users to its productivity suite, and both companies are working to bring the power of third-party applications into the apps people already use to get things done.

A small set of add-ons is available now from a hand-picked set of Google partners. In the future, developers will be able to build their own add-ons, and submit them to Google for review. If the company deems them worthy, it'll allow them to integrate with Docs and Sheets.

The functionality builds on existing partner integrations available for Google's productivity software on the web. Those existing integrations have been available for users accessing the services from their computers.

Users can find the add-ons in the add-ons sections of the Google Docs and Sheets apps, as well as in special collections inside the Google Play Store.

It's not yet clear what the future holds for add-ons beyond Android. Google said that it is considering bringing the functionality to iOS, as well as to its Slides presentation software, but didn't offer any detail beyond that.

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Blair Hanley Frank

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