Desktop Version of Google Apps for iPad Now Available, We Go Hands-on (Review)

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A few weeks ago, Google introduced a version of Google Docs that worked with the iPad. We liked it as far as modifying existing documents (read our original review here), but it was lacking some much-needed features such as creating new documents. Furthermore, the text selection was atrocious, and it was very difficult to do simple things like copy and paste.

This is because the iPad used a trimmed-down version of Google Docs designed for mobiles. Now they have released an iPad-compatible Desktop version with added functionality. How does it stack up?

The Good: 

The functions are all there. You can create a new document, save a copy and use the word count tool. That's a nice feature that adds exactly what we wanted from the previous version, but that's about all we can say about it.

The spreadsheet app is identical to the mobile version, so there's nothing to report on that front.

The Bad:

The text selection is still crap, even worse in this version, because it doesn't seem to work with us. Meanwhile, the selection has improved greatly in the mobile version. Before, (in the mobile version) we had trouble making selections that involved more than one paragraph, but now it works just like the iOS selection tool.

What's worse, is that typing in the desktop version is painfully slow. There is a pretty good-sized lag between when you type and when the text appears onscreen. This is probably the deal-breaker here.

The Verdict:

We were a bit excited at first, but can't say we are impressed by this version of Google Docs. It's sluggish, and feels very hard to control. The best way to use it is if you absolutely have to copy a document or create a new one, then jump back to your mobile version.

1 out of 5 stars

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