Google Drive ditches built-in editing feature for standalone apps

Google has updated the Google Drive application for Android and dropped support for the built-in document editing feature in support of standalone apps.

Recently, Google launched a trio of productivity applications which included Docs, Sheets and Slides, for iOS and Android mobile platforms. The applications are set to compete with the recently launched Microsoft Office Mobile and Google is making sure people install these applications by making them mandatory for document editing.

The latest update to Google Drive which is now up at version 1.3, has dropped the ability to edit documents directly from the application. Instead, the users will now be prompted to install one of the qualifying applications out of Docs and Sheets for editing the respective document. Without the necessary application, users will only be able to view their documents in read-only mode.

As noted by Android Police, the view only mode is very basic and lacks some of the formatting such as Word Wrap. Since the Slides application is not yet available, users will have to wait till they can edit presentation files on the go. The latest suite of productivity applications and updated Google Drive support Android versions 4.0 and up. Interested users can grab the APK from source as the update is still being rolled out on the Google Play Store and may not be available.

Source: Android Police | Image via DataCenterDude

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you can install andropenoffice on android 4.0+ and have full office capabilities except large app size and load time

minster11 said,
Can MS office compatibly opens DOCS, Sheets, and Slides?

Nope, you have to convert them first using the website. Download as...

Google: In a web browser this might be good but their mobile apps suck. On Android you have like 6 fonts and some basic editing options. On iOS it is even worse. The app can't even display tables in docs and charts in sheets.

Apple: Numbers, Pages and Slides are better free options. The apps are extremely polished and easy to use. But you have to have and iPad or a Mac since the browser suite is slow and lacks editing inline tables and charts as well.

Microsoft: Office is a great suite and the apps are outstanding but it isn't free, and I don't use it enough to warrant a subscription.

But I guess Office for iPad was a good wake-up call for the competition to step up their game and put productivity apps higher on their list now.

I wish the OneDrive app had built in editing for free (on par with Office Online), that was upgradeable with an O365 subscription or free on Windows.

It does already. You go into the OneDrive app (or even the Office Hub), click a document... and it opens in the edit mode in the appropriate Office app. For example, I clicked a spreadsheet file in my OneDrive app, and it opened it in edit mode in the Excel mobile app with no delay (just like Office Online does).

Are you on an iPad? To edit it would require a subscription. The OneDrive app does not have any editing capabilities by itself without a subscription.

That's kind of their way to make money with this, is with subscriptions. Microsoft can't do everything for free.

However, on Android, Microsoft recently updated their Office Mobile app and made it available for editing for free... so that's something lol.

Personally, I think the subscription's a good deal anyway.

ians18 said,
Are you on an iPad?

And this is why I'm a part of the Microsoft Ecosystem.
Windows Phone has office baked in, no subscription required.

Looks like the "scroogled" campaign is working in Microsoft's favor, seeing that Google is now removing it's "bread and butter" source of income from customer accounts.

deadonthefloor said,

And this is why I'm a part of the Microsoft Ecosystem.
Windows Phone has office baked in, no subscription required.

I have a Windows Phone + Surface, but there are no touch version (yet) of office for Windows 8.x, not even the onedrive app has basic editing features. If they brought the Office Online functionality across all platforms in the oneDrive app (basic offline editing), it would be more discoverable than Office Online is.