Google Docs, Sheets and Slides get major overhaul on mobile

Businessman holding smartphone
(Image credit: Pexels)

In addition to being able to collaborate in real-time on the web, one of the best things about Google's suite of productivity apps is that they're also available on mobile so you can work from anywhere. To make it easier for users to be productive from their smartphones, the company has announced a slew of updates for its Google Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps for G Suite users.

As virtual meetings have become ubiquitous, teams are increasingly turning to presentations to keep everyone engaged and on the same page. To make it easier to quickly view content in Slides, Google has announced a new viewing experience with a vertically scrollable stream of slides that users can pinch-to-zoom. This new viewing experience will help users review slides faster and will roll out on Android over the next few weeks and on iOS in the coming months.

To help prevent users from getting distracted from linked content in Google Docs, the search giant is bringing link previews from Docs on the web to its mobile app. Now when you click on a link in Docs, you'll see a card with dynamic information about the content including its owner, latest activity in Google Drive, titles and descriptions of public links and a visual thumbnail. This feature is already available for Docs on iOS and will be rolling out to Android in the coming weeks.

Google also announced that Docs, Sheets and Slides now support dark mode on Android to make it easier for users to work in low-light environments while not draining their smartphone's battery. This feature is already available on Android but it will be coming to iOS in the coming months.

Create and collaborate from anywhere

Not having to wait until your back at your desk or on your computer to write a memo, edit a spreadsheet or assign an action item means that teams can get more done faster.

To help speed up how users type in Google Docs, Google is bringing Smart Compose to mobile after launching the feature on the web earlier this year. Smart Compose in Docs will rollout to G Suite customers over the next few weeks on both Android and iOS.

Last year the company introduced Office editing on the web to allow users to edit, comment and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Docs, Sheets and Slides. Now this feature will also be available in the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps on Android in the coming weeks with an iOS rollout later this year.

Comments are an important tool for team collaboration which is why Google is improving the user interface for both comments and action items in Docs, Sheets and Slides on Mobile. The commenting interface will soon be larger, easier to scroll through and there will be a quick access button to reply and @mention others. This feature is available on Android now and will be coming to iOS in the coming months.

Finally, Google is bringing dynamic email, which makes it easier to take actions like responding to comments, to the Gmail apps for Android and iOS. 

Now that remote work is quickly becoming the new norm, users need to be able to quickly get to work from wherever they may be and the updates Google has announced for Docs, Sheets and Slides on mobile will certainly help with this.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.