Word processing documents in Google Docs cannot presently be edited in the Safari web browser on an iPad “because Mobile Safari does not support contentEditable, which is needed for rich text editing.” (Apple Developer library reference) Office2 Pro is an $8 iPad application which supports editing MS Word and Excel File editing, as well as (currently) very buggy editing of Google Docs. Like Chris Lehman, I bought an iPad to use it for content creation as well as consumption. The 1.5 pound weight of the iPad has won my heart, along with its impressive functionality. I NEED to be able to edit Google Docs on it, however, since 95% of my productivity application use takes place in Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Presentations. Despite Kevin Tofel’s cautionary post last week about Office2 Pro on the iPad being buggy and not YET fully functional, I went ahead and purchased the application last week to give it a try myself. My conclusion mirrors his: DO NOT purchase this application YET if you’re wanting a good way to use Google Docs on the iPad. Hopefully the app will be updated soon to provide seamless functionality, but for now it’s buggy and not worth the money if Google Doc use is your goal. In this post, I’ll highlight how to connect Office2 Pro to your Google Docs account, and the CURRENT results when editing documents.
The Help documentation provided within Office2 Pro includes some guidance about configuring your Google account within the application, but the steps are not thorough or very clear.
Make sure you are viewing the application in LANDSCAPE mode to begin. Step 1 is to click the BACK button.
Step 2: Click the EDIT button.
Step 3: Click ADD SERVICE.
Step 4: Click GOOGLE DOCS to add it as a service.
Step 5: Enter your Google credentials, and a name for this ‘service.’
Step 6: Click DONE.
Step 7: Click on the name you provided as a description for your Google account.
Step 8: Click on an existing document you want to edit, or the “+” symbol to add a new document.
Step 9: Choose to create a word processing document or a spreadsheet /workbook. (If you noticed the misspelling in the image below, rest assured I DID correct “analysis” in the top document. That was one shared with my by someone else. 🙂 )
Step 10: Enter a new name for your document.
“Unknown errors” unfortunately appear to be common with this version of Office2 Pro and Google Docs.
Step 12: Select text as desired and choose font type and text size from the menu bar, using your finger.
Step 13: Select formatting options as desired, including bulleted or numbered lists. Note the formatting menu bar can be “slid” to reveal a second set of formatting options.
Step 14: Since a SAVE button is not available, you must click CLOSE to save the document.
Step 15: “Unknown errors” are common, so save often.
I was able to do SOME editing on a Google Doc last Friday using Office2 Pro, but overall the experience was very frustrating and not nearly as productive as I’d hoped it would be because of frequent “unknown errors.”
I hope the application will be updated soon and this buggy behavior with Google Docs will be fixed. It’s GREAT the application developers are working to create an iPad environment which will enable editing for Google Doc word processing and spreadsheet files.
Once that is possible in more seamless way, if Apple makes the iPad Keynote application responsive to the Bluetooth keyboard’s arrow keys to wirelessly advance slides I may be able to leave my laptop at home when I travel for presentations! I’d like to become an “iPad only” presenter and conference session blogger, and trade in my 10 lbs+ laptop for the 1.5 lb iPad. 🙂
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