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11/23/2010
09:21 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Mobile Google Docs Editing Stinks

Based on my attempts to use Google's new mobile Docs editing features, I'd say the feature is far from fully baked.

On November 18, Google announced that users of the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices would be able to access and edit their Google Docs files from their devices' browser. On November 19, the feature went live (at least for me). So far, it has been miserable to use.

My excitement last week over this new functionality was palpable. Having the ability to edit my Google Docs from my mobile device could have a significant -- and positive -- impact on the way I work each day. Thus it is with bitter disappointment that I am writing this column.

The feature was first enabled for me on Friday, November 19. While working on my iPad, I noticed the new tools Google had mentioned: a little box for creating new documents, and another little box for editing articles. As Google demonstrated on video, the features worked fine for about a day. I was able to create several test documents and make edits to them. Liberating joy!

Since Saturday, November 20, however, the feature has been hit or miss -- and mostly missing. Some times the Create Document tool appears and some times it doesn't. Even when it does, the tool doesn't function properly. None of the docs I've created since Friday have been saved in my Google Docs repository. They all vanish. Worse, the editing feature has disappeared entirely. I can't edit any of my Google documents.

I've tried on an iPad, two different iPhones, and two different Android devices. I've powered down and powered up all these devices, and even reset them. I've also signed out of my Google account and back in. No dice. It doesn't work.

Did Google yank the feature? Is it just me? Is the HTML5 not working properly? I've reached out to Google to see if there's a reason why editing in Google Docs doesn't appear to be online.

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