Google Docs for Android gets offline access

But users still can't edit documents when they don't have an Internet connection

Google Docs users can now get offline access to documents on their Android-based smartphones and tablets, Googlesaid in a blog post on Wednesday.

The upgraded app makes offline access possible for Google documents, presentations, spreadsheets, uploaded images, and file formats such as pdf, doc, xls and ppt, according to Google.

Users can either make a document available offline while they have an Internet connection, or request to make a document available offline when their smartphone or tablet is disconnected from the Internet. In the latter case, it will update the next time the device regains Internet connectivity.

The files are automatically updated when users are attached to a Wi-Fi network. Users can also manually update files anytime they have a data connection by opening the file or tapping "update" in the offline section of the application.

There are several ways to make an item available offline on both tablets and smartphones.

When on a tablet, users can open the preview pane, and select the checkbox next to the available offline option. Smartphone users can touch and hold the name of an item in the documents list for two to three seconds, and then touch the "make available offline" option in the menu that appears.

Google still has some work to do to make the Docs app more useful on Android-based smartphones and tablets. It still doesn't let users edit documents offline.

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