Our Technology Editor Kevin Kelly argues the the Google Drive suite of apps enables an individual to work on the go.
Google wants to be on every platform it can. It doesn’t solely rely on its Android or Chrome operating systems to push its online services on to you.
Google will chase you and fight its way on to your phone. Unless you have a Windows phone of course. You have some access there, but they’re not from official Google.
If you have a Gmail account, you have Google Drive and Google Docs, and you should absolutely be taking advantage of it. Imagine being able to log in to Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel all there when you log in online.
While not that powerful and complex, the main functionality of Microsoft Office is there in Google Docs. You can type up reports, papers, do up slideshows and even create forms that’ll dump the input information into a handy spreadsheet.
You can log into Google from any browser, but browsers can still be pretty shoddy on smartphones. Bring on the Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets apps.
All your documents live in Google Drive, as well as whatever else you upload, from photos to any other essential files.
Your ordinary, common Google account will give you 15 GB of storage for free. It’s sitting there, so make use of it. If your university or job provides you with a Google Work account, you have 30 GB to use.
When you open the Drive app, you’re presented with a list view of the documents you most recently opened.
This is handy when you have a handful of essential documents, but sometimes finding something buried deep down can mean a lot of scrolling and clicking.
When you find the document you want, depending on the file type, you’ll be quickly chucked out of Drive and into either Docs, for normal word documents, or Sheets, for spreadsheets.
Docs functions very well. If you want to just get into some quick typing, it’s perfect. It can handle rich text editing, such as changing font colour or making text bold, but that requires digging into a few menus and the sometimes tricky task of highlighting the text you want.
Think of this app as a cross between a simple note taking app and Word, and you’re on the right track.
Sheets, because of the very nature of spreadsheets, can be a bit unwieldy to trawl through and work with unless you have a big screen.
Sheets might work better on a tablet than a smartphone, but it definitely won’t replace a laptop or desktop.
These Google apps make the smartphone in your pocket a very worthy little work computer when you’re on the go.
Seeing documents people have shared with you, typing up quick stuff you want to write up, and even sharing quick thoughts and ideas quickly, this is what Google wants to give you.
And they’ll be happy as long as you keep giving them your information.
The Google Drive suite of apps is available for free on iOS and Android.