Many users have a certain fondness for Google Docs as it allows one to use the service without having the fear of losing data if a computer accidentally goes off and the data has not been saved. However, a feature that many users had complained about is that one does not have the ability to use Google Docs if they have, by chance lost their Internet connection. This issue seems to be a thing of the past now as Google has recently announced that Google Docs will now feature offline capabilities allowing one edit documents online using the Chrome browser.
As per a post by Docs Blog, Google states, “No internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synced when you get back online. You can enable offline editing from the gear icon in Google Drive and find more detailed instructions for getting set up in the Help Center. Note that you’ll need the latest versions of Chrome or ChromeOS to edit offline. We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.”
Now featuring offline support
So what does this actually mean? The answer is a bit disappointing because as of now, one can use this offline feature to edit and add comments to only documents and not spreadsheets. With this feature, only documents can be edited offline and when you are back online, all the changes that have been made in offline mode will be reflected in the document. However, one cannot make changes to spreadsheets or presentations but merely view them in this offline mode. But what comes as a consolation is that Google is working on this and hopefully, these changes will be implemented quickly.
This offline feature can be used only with the latest version of Chrome and not other Internet browsers like Firefox or Internet Explorer, hence showing that Google is working on creating their own ecosystem.
Commenting on the usability of this feature, a report by Ginny Miles of PC World states, “Google Documents in offline mode worked well and felt stable once I had it set up. I was disappointed that Well, it is still in beta.you can’t actually create documents offline; you can only edit them. Bizarrely, there’s a button at the top of your offline documents window labeled “New Document,” but clicking on it brings you to a page informing you “this document is not available offline.” It seems like an oversight to include this non-functioning function, but this is a Google beta project after all. I hope that Google expands offline editing mode to spreadsheets and presentations in future updates as well.”
As of now, it appears that there are a few glitches but one has to take into consideration that this feature is still in its budding stage and over time it could be a service that comes quite handy.