Users criticise instability, cumbersome editing and poor offline ability.
UPDATE: Comments from Google added below.
Google Apps users were unimpressed by an update to Google’s Google Docs application for the Android operating system that was released earlier this week.
Comments on Google’s app store, Android Market, were largely negative since the app’s upgrade two days ago.
The app appeared to have stability problems on some Android tablets and smartphones with users complaining about forced restarts.
Other criticisms included problems with copy and paste, difficulty writing in landscape mode and cumbersome editing of spreadsheets and documents.
“Creating and editing spreadsheets is horrific. I’d like to use this for doing inventory but in it’s current form usage is impossible,” wrote a user called Chris.
Also the app didn’t let users to edit or create documents while offline or edit presentations.
“The new Honeycomb interface is very pretty, however, the editing and creation of new documents is so bad (on tablet) that I refuse to use it. It reverts to a hugely stretched, phone-like app, which is ugly and lacks features. A real shame,” wrote a user called Daniel.
Anil Sabharwal, Google’s head of mobile product development, said the criticism was misplaced. The app was intended to update the Google Docs file management interface, known internally as the Google Docs List. The app was never intended to improve the editing experience for Google Documents, Google Spreadsheets or Google Presentations.
“What we’ve launched to date is what we refer to as the Docs List product, which is really the list of your documents and the metadata associated with interacting with that. Anyone who had a tablet said the UI (user interface) is great, I can see my previews, sharing is better, auto-complete is there. For all the things we worked on the feedback was exceptional, the problem was it was always was then – ‘but editing doesn’t meet the bar’.”
The Google Docs App update
Optimised for tablets on the Honeycomb version of Android, the app showed a three-panel view to make it easier to sort documents and emails using filters and collections (Google’s equivalent to hierarchies of folders).
A details panel on the right hand side of the screen showed collections and description information for documents in the Google Docs list.
The details panel also showed thumbnail previews of documents and who could view or edit a particular document in the sharing settings.
The Google Docs app included auto-complete for inserting email addresses when sharing documents.
The app also introduced a landscape mode as well as portrait and had improved video playback, Google claimed.