We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,100 News Articles

Google gives Google Docs offline capabilities

On a plane? Doesnt matter. Get to work with offline cloud-based apps

One of the big disadvantages to using cloud-based office apps is that you have to be connected to the Internet to use them.

Well, Google took care of that issue today.

At its annual Google I/O developers conference on Thursday, Google announced that it is adding the ability to work offline to Google Docs, the company's cloud-based office apps.

That means people working on shared documents will be able to do their work offline and then when they are back online, their document will automatically sync up with the cloud.

Such offline capability could be handy for people who might need to work while travelling by plane without wireless Internet access, as well as for people who need to keep working when the network goes down.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said this is a good move for Google Docs but he's not sure why it took Google so long to do it.

"Offline access is something that Google should have made a priority and delivered before now," Old said. "Web access isn't nearly as ubiquitous as some might think and being able to do useful work offline is critical to most business people."

Google has been embroiled in a competition with Microsoft, which also has been pushing cloud-based apps for the enterprise. Microsoft, which has an obvious foothold in the enterprise with its Office software, has taken those apps to the cloud with its Office 365 suite.

Both companies are going after the lucrative enterprise market and they're using office-related applications to help them get there.

Olds said adding offline capabilities to Google Docs could boost Google's enterprise efforts. "The lack of offline use was certainly a big stumbling block for many potential Google Docs business users," he added. "Now that they have it, Google might see adoption pick up a bit over time."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.


IDG UK Sites

Windows 9 release date, price, features: Microsoft teases new OS ahead of 30 September unveiling

IDG UK Sites

From the iPhone 6 to the iWatch and a new Apple TV we look at the products Apple is set to launch...

IDG UK Sites

September 2014 creative trends: 5 things you must see

IDG UK Sites

What to expect from Apple in autumn/winter 2014: iPhone 6, iPhone Air, iWatch, iPad 6, new Apple...