Google promises Docs editing for iPad

To add in-browser Google Docs edits on Apple's tablet in 'next few weeks'

Google said on Monday that Apple iPad owners would soon be able to edit Google Docs files on their tablets.

The announcement was made the same day as the company added two-factor authentication to its enterprise-oriented Google Apps suite.

Google Apps includes Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar.

"Today we demonstrated new mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad," said David Girouard, president of Google's enterprise group, in a post to a company blog.

"In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices," Girouard said.

Google did not set a specific date for delivering Google Docs word processor and spreadsheet editing to the iPad.

Currently, Google Docs users can view, but not edit files with the iPad. Apple's tablet can also be used to view documents in several Microsoft Office formats when those files have been uploaded to a Google Docs account.

Also today, Google demonstrated progress in adding collaborative editing of Office documents for Docs users on Windows desktops and laptops, a move that would let companies do without SharePoint, one of Microsoft's top money makers.

The Docs-to-Office integration will rely on a "ribbon" that users will add to Office to link the suite to Google's online storage and tools. DocVerse, which Google acquired last March, is developing the ribbon.

iPad owners already have Google Docs access-and-edit options via the $17 apps sold by Quickoffice and DataViz.

Google has not created its own app, but instead supports Google Docs viewing through the iPad's browser.

Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents can be viewed, but not edited from within the tablet's Safari browser by using Microsoft's Office Web Apps.

Alternately, users can import Microsoft Office documents into Apple's own iPad-specific Pages, Numbers and KeyNote apps, which cost $10 each.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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Gregg Keizer

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