What Google Got Wrong With Its Google Docs App For iOS

The new Google Docs app for iOS is doing well in Apple’s App Store at the moment—but it’s faring much less well with actual iPhone and iPad users, at least to judge from their reviews.

See also: How Google Docs And Sheets Stack Up To iWork And Office

According to data from app-analytics firm App Annie, Google Docs is currently the number-three free app for iPad—where it’s edged out number five Microsoft Office for iPad—and the number 15 free app for iPhone. Docs is a new standalone word-processing app, part of Google’s now-unbundled Google Drive cloud-storage app.

iOS users, however, aren’t pleased with the breakup, which saddled them with a Docs app that was already less full-featured than its Android counterpart. On average, roughly 650 users have rated Docs a fairly miserable two stars. In addition to its lack of formatting options—no support for images, tables or hyperlinks—they complain that the app won’t let them file their documents in folders or sort them in useful ways, that there’s no way to export files, and that there’s no spellcheck.

Google Drive isn’t doing well in the App Store, either; the rating for its most recent version is only one-and-a half stars. In part, that seems to reflect the fact that its latest update removed file-edit functions, and instead punts iOS users to Docs (or Sheets for spreadsheets) if they want to make changes. Android users, by contrast, have apparently been spared that downgrade for Drive. 

On the flip side, some iOS users do seem to appreciate the fact that Docs allows them to edit files offline, although they are a distinct minority among reviewers. Needless to say, it’s difficult to know whether people who take the time to submit a review are representative of most users or not. But they’re clearly unhappy.

By contrast, Android users find Docs much more tolerable; it holds a 4.4-star rating on the Google Play store.

Lead image by Flickr user Laurie Sullivan, CC 2.0

Facebook Comments