You know Google Docs, it's the fantastic text editing, word processing web app from the Google. And cruising Google Docs via the mobile browser has long been fine! But nothing beats a dedicated app - which is now an option for Android users.
What is it?
Google Docs, Free, Android. The app, long anticipated by Android fans, does what the browser version does for the most part. However! Google decided to keep all the creating, editing and collaborating tied to the mobile web app. So when you want to edit one of your documents, you'll have to use the online mobile editor (which is built within the native app). Which is good because the changes you make will be shown in real time (crucial for your collaborators) but also bad because you'll need an internet connection to edit new documents (and like we said, nothing beats a native app).
So Google Docs for Android actually turns out to be more like a document manager than a solid word processor. You can search through all your documents, share the docs with contacts and upload and convert files to the Google Docs format. Which isn't bad! But it's not exactly the Google Docs app we've been waiting for.
Awesomely though, you can use the Google Docs app as an OCR reader. Just fire up the app, click new document, select 'Document from Photo' and snap a picture of what you want to bring over to Google Docs. This feature turn photos with text into editable Google documents. That's cloudifying paper docs on the fly, dude!
Who's it good for?
People who use Google Docs. People who've been wanting to use Google Docs on their Android phones. People who like to save things to the cloud without thinking.
Why's it better than alternatives?
Because if you use Google Docs regularly, every one of your documents will be accessible on your phone. There's no need to create a work around, no need to introduce new apps to the mix. The OCR option is also stellar and the sharing, though a little limited at the moment, is super easy to get collaborators on the same doc as you. The native app is still better than the web app.
How could it be even better?
First, and of less importance, the start up screen for Google Docs for Android is very blue for some reason. That makes it seem dated (the rest of the app looks fine). Second, and significantly much more important, all the document editing is still done via the mobile online editor - that is of course Google Doc's M.O., to be connected to the cloud - but also means you won't be able to edit or read documents without an internet connection. That could be a biggie for those on a plane or those with spotty connections.
Google Docs for Android [Android Market]