February 22, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Google has been updating its apps quite vigorously in recent weeks, and the Google Docs for Android app has been treated to yet another update. After recently being optimized for use on tablets and larger screens, Google Docs for Android now better captures the needs of users looking to work in groups.
Docs now supports real-time collaboration when multiple people work on the same document. The app has long supported updating of documents with multi-user access, but the latest version displays changes within seconds of being made. So, as the demo video below illustrates, the best man at a wedding can prepare his speech on a tablet while groomsmen and bridesmaids on their phones proofread or provide suggestions. In other use-cases, workers at conferences can make changes to a document and see the edits made by employees back at the office or on-site somewhere else.
The best part of the update is that Google Docs finally feels like an app rather than just a wrapper of the mobile site. It might still rely on the web app for all we know, but the app doesn’t feel as limited as it did in the past. There’s a new user interface for quickly adding collaborators, deleting, and making formatting adjustments. Docs can toggle rich text formatting for bold, italicize, or underline text, among other things. Users can also change the layout of documents to add bullets, numbers, and indentation.