To make life easier for the most productive tablet users, Google today said it has developed standalone Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps that are designed to create and edit files on Android tablets as well as the Apple iPad.
Users can already do word processing or make changes to spreadsheets with Google’s Drive app, so the biggest addition to the company’s latest offering is offline support. Now users can view, edit, and create files without an Internet connection.
The Drive app will continue to exist and allow users to make edits, but Google now touts Drive as a place to just store files, while it encourages users to create and edit in the stand-alone applications. Over the next few days, users that open the Drive app will be prompted to download Docs and Sheets.
UPDATE: In the latest versions of Drive for Android and iOS, Google has taken out the ability to edit files. Users will need some other office suite to make edits to .DOC, .XLS, and .PPT files, like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, QuickOffice, iWork, or Office for iPad.
This new word processing and spreadsheet software can be found on Google Play [Docs] [Sheets] and in the App Store [Docs] [Sheets]. Slides will come soon to allow users to create presentations. All are free.
The applications face competition from a range of office productivity suites. Most Android tablets come bundled with one of these suites, such as Polaris Office, while Apple makes its iWord apps free to those who buy a new iPad. Microsoft recently became a big player in this market with the release of Office for iPad.