Google Docs

Google has updated its Google Drive app in the Play Store, which now requires users to install standalone Sheets and Docs apps for editing of documents and spreadsheets. By stripping the editing function out of the Drive app, Google is intending that the Drive app be used for managing and viewing of your files on the cloud.

Though users will now need three apps to retain the functionality of the old Drive app, the upside is that you can now edit files without requiring a data connection in Google's standalone Docs and Sheets apps.

After you update the Drive app, if you haven't already downloaded the Google Docs and the Google Sheets apps, you'll be prompted to do so when you try to edit a Google Docs or Google Sheets document — though you can still view documents regardless. Interestingly, though, it seems that we were able to still open and edit native Microsoft .xls and .doc files that were uploaded to Google Drive natively within the Drive app.


Reader comments

Latest Google Drive update now requires Docs and Sheets apps to edit files


At least on sheets, Drive seems to transparently pull up Sheets directly when I open the document. I was able to edit my document with no extra steps.

Thanks. I should have mentioned that I already installed Docs and Sheets. All in all, the new process seems pretty smooth to me.

Damn it. And I just updated the app. Now I have to keep Docs and Sheets. Only to use the same feature that worked perfectly with only one app.

Why Google? why?

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I got over the annoying part, until I went to edit a spreadsheet that gets shared between offices. It used to update in real time, but now, when I load it in sheets, it automatically filters customers for me. As in if I had a sheet in no order of all customers, now it will only show me the jobs with one particular customer with no way to filter to see them all.
Terrible....never thought I would use box/dropbox again. Guess I was wrong. Way to go google. This is actually pushing me away from them. Along with the other updates. Not that they care.
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I'm okay with this, as long as three months from now they don't send sheets and docs the way of shopper... oh shopper, how I miss you.

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Hmm I just updated and it's allowing me to edit docs without either app installed. Running Note 3 verizon
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Edit: Nvm. Closed the app and reopened it now it's mentioning it when I try to edit. Oh well.

Anyone else see Sheets and Docks, reverse the two, then say it over and over to make it sound like beatboxing?

Anyone...? No? Okay, just me. I'll be over here just doing my thing.

Can't open anything with docs. When I try to open a document with drive I just get a white screen with a gray drive logo on it. It's like my tablet doesn't even know app is there. Works fine with quick office just not docs. Does the same thing with my gs3 and my nexus 7.

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Same here. Even opening a document with the Drive app automatically opens under Quickoffice. It doesn't even know Docs is installed. Meanwhile, Docs won't open anything from my Drive account (again it just defaults to QO) and it won't even look for documents that I created offline with QO and have offline on my tablet.

It's literally useless to me, while Quickoffice still works just fine.

I'm not sure what Google is doing here. I get what they TRIED to do. It just works about as well as a Chinese spam app right now.

Go to manage apps and find quick office and click the clear defaults button. At some point you opened a doc and selected quick office and told it to always use that

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

"Interestingly, though, it seems that we were able to still open and edit native Microsoft .xls and .doc files that were uploaded to Google Drive natively within the Drive app."

...You mean using QuickOffice, right?

So, we don't have to "pin" the document in order for it to be available offline?....(and don't need to have a signal?)
I love that.
I want google docs to make everything available offline (like Evernote Premium) and just do it's syncing without hiccup as soon as it finds a signal.
So, do we still have to pin each and every doc that we want offline?....or is it the default now?

So how is this a problem?
I'm not understanding why this is upsetting to some people.... is there some sort of inconvenience that I'm not seeing?

Logically, it should mean that the total of all apps is likely only slightly larger than the old Drive app was. And it means that people who don't need the mobile editing functionality will actually be using *less* storage space.

I guess there is always *some* kind of trade off. Most phones have a way to hide icons in the app drawer, or at least create groups under tabs or something. If your phone doesn't, you could always try a launcher like Nova.

I already had both of them installed. I also have Quickoffice. How do I know if it's opened in Docs or Quickoffice?
Which is the latest version of Drive? I've got

What's the point of Quickoffice? Why does Google need me to download multiple apps for one purpose? Am I wrong here?

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I'm guessing the two new apps are specifically for Google Docs and Google Sheets files, whereas QuickOffice is for opening and editing files created with MS Office...

Taken from the Google Play Store description for QuickOffice:

"This free app from Google lets you create and edit Microsoft® Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations on your Android phone and tablet."

EDIT: An interesting thought, as some others here have surmised, having QuickOffice installed might negate the need for the two new apps entirely. I think this is more about "streamlining" the apps so that you aren't wasting storage space on features you don't intend to use.


That's what I'm thinking too.. Quick Office should save having to use the other two apps

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Its to bring us updates faster.... Hopefully this actually happens as I want to see Google step up the competition in mobile

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Does the removal of the editing tools in the Drive app reduce the overall size of the Drive app? If not, why not?

If they removed the editing code, it would have required *effort* on Google's part for the APK to *not* get smaller. Like you said, that makes no sense. I suspect this is an attempt to streamline the different apps so you're not wasting storage space for code you don't need, if you don't actually need the editing features.

Plus, it should make it easier to update the individual "parts" of code, which means faster bug fixes and new features. Google has been breaking out a lot of the "monolithic" Android code recently. This is the same reason they now have the Android API broken out into the Google Play Services framework: you don't have to wait to get an update to the latest version of Android in order to get the latest version of the API.

Good job Google. Now I need 4 apps to handle all my files (Drive, Docs, Sheets, QuickOffice). I was able to handle 2 but now this is getting ridiculous. Anything I previously made with QuickOffice won't open with Docs and anything I made before I made the switch to QuickOffice will no longer open in QuickOffice. Not to mention if I copy/paste a file, not only is all formatting lost, but Docs won't even let me save the file. This is not a smooth transition at all. Hopefully Google will learn from this screw up before they merge Google Voice and Hangouts.

They should make it so that the three separate apps are just rolled into QuickOffice. We don't need so many different apps.

Hey Google, while your spinning things off to make them update faster, can you do that with the phone app?

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They want to separate the apps in order to separate the bugs / improvements etc. from the main drive app.

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Instead of having one office app they want to have an office suite. It will allow not only faster updates, but it also allows for a richer feature set. This is a necessary step for Google as they become more serious about productivity.

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Exactly! This is how it is on Chrome OS and I haven't heard any gnashing of teeth. Maybe they'll eventually merge the technologies of Quick Office into the Google Docs/Drive apps suite?

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Or make QuickOffice use the same code from the Docs app (how you have DLL's in Windows) so that QuickOffice, natively, is just for MS Office files, and the code to edit Google Docs files becomes a kind of "addon".

I'd like to know where Quickoffice fits into their thinking. Shouldn't that be front and centre of their productivity offering? They've 'Googlefied' it now yet the docs and sheet apps are still in development and apparently getting more profile. Quickoffice pre-Google was already great IMHO and is still my go to app when I've work to do on my phone or tablet even if they did kill access to other cloud services...

I regularly use Drive on my phone to pull up data that I've entered into Docs or Sheets (more often) from my computer. This has been an efficient and very helpful process... until the update. It takes much longer to load a document (we're talking about the same doc in the same location/cell service area). I've got horizontal scrolling issues in Sheets, which made it unusable this morning, finally figuring out a "workaround" this afternoon.

I wouldn't complain about the split in apps, but they clearly botched some very crisp/working functionality.

For reference, I'm using Moto X. Not happy with this update AT ALL.