If day two of the annual Google I/O conference has taught us anything, it is that Google clearly recognizes the need to offer native experiences of their services to the millions of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners around the world. Today, Google has announced the official Drive app for iOS along with an update to Docs which brings offline editing support to users.
We all love the release of new apps, specifically the ones that actually provide a good mobile solution for services that are used regularly. With that in mind, Google has announced the immediate release of their Google Drive app onto the App Store. The Drive service, which offers cloud-based storage, allows users to store and share their files anywhere on the go, a service very similar to Dropbox or Box.net.
The official app will give users the ability to access and view any uploaded files in their Google Drive folder. Additionally, the app will also allow any documents that are stored in a corresponding Google Docs account to be viewed, a service that fits in nicely with the announced updates to the Docs service. The new Drive app allows documents to be viewed natively on the device and edited immediately, with the added bonus of offline editing thanks to the announced changes.
When opening a document either from the Drive folder or through a Google Docs account, the Drive app has a small toggle that determines whether or not it should be available offline. If selected, any changes made to the document when there is no internet connection available is cached locally on the device and then pushed back to the cloud when an internet connection is regained. The addition of offline editing is something that has been talked about for a while but is an extremely welcomed addition to the already capable Google Docs system.
The iOS Google Drive app has two different user interface designs, with one being specifically optimized for the larger iPad display and the other one which is designed for the iPhone. Both designs are simplistic and extremely functional, bringing easy to follow navigation with full-screen photo support for viewing images that are embedded within documents or have been uploaded to a Drive account. Google Drive is available for download from the link embedded below.
Those of you who don’t know, Google Docs is now a part of Google Drive.
Download Google Drive for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad [iTunes Link]