Tech giant Google is aiming to make the mobile versions of its popular productivity apps, Google Sheets and Google Docs, a bit more powerful for business users. The company said yesterday that it is now supporting third-party apps for the Android versions of Google Sheets and Google Docs, including integrations with popular apps such as DocuSign and ProsperWorks.
“We know many of you consider your mobile device as your primary tool to consume business information, but what if you could use it to get more work done, from anywhere?” Saurabh Gupta, product manager for Google Apps, wrote in a blog post yesterday.
Lots To Like for Education and Biz Users
While the announcement is certainly good news for users who ever wished they could get a bit more work done with their Google apps while they're on the go, the news could be better. For one thing, the add-ons are limited to Android devices, leaving iPhone users out in the cold. The number of third-party apps Google is currently supporting is also pretty limited, with only eight app developers participating at this time.
To begin, the company is supporting nine add-ons for Sheets and Docs: DocuSign, Google Classroom, Scanbot, Zoho CRM, AppSheet, EasyBib, Teacher Aide, ProsperWorks CRM, and PandaDoc. While the selection is limited at the moment, the types of apps on offer indicate the focus is clearly on business and education users.
The DocuSign integration, for example, allows users to bring up documents saved in either Docs or Sheets and sign them directly, without having to navigate away from the main app. Google also included support for a second document signing app with the PandaDoc add-on.
Scanbot, meanwhile, lets users scan documents and save them in PDF format, and offers built-in optical character recognition capabilities, allowing information to be extracted from the document as editable text.
Classroom and CRM Tools
Teachers and other education users will also likely be pleased with some of the new functionality on their Android phones. The Google Classroom add-on allows teachers with Google Apps for Education accounts to create, assign, review, and grade paperless assignments from within either productivity app.
Teacher Aide, on the other hand, offers teachers tools to track data such as classroom attendance, assignments, seating charts, and report cards within Docs or Sheets. Meanwhile, for academics and other researchers, the EasyBib: Citation Generator makes it possible to automatically generate citations for bibliographies in Docs documents in a variety of styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago.
For users in the private sector, Google is including support for two CRM (customer relationship management) add-ons: Zoho CRM and ProsperWorks CRM. Zoho allows users to track their end-to-end sales cycles, access customer information offline, and collaborate with other members of their CRM teams. ProsperWorks focuses on identifying, tracking, and optimizing CRM leads.
Finally, AppSheet provides tools for business and education users such as collaborating with remote team members, project management tools, and grading and study plans in the Sheets app.
Posted: 2016-08-01 @ 9:29am PT
Hey Jef, Thanks for the info about Google wanting to make mobile apps for Google Sheets and Google Docs. So many people consume information and do work on their mobile devices now, that it just makes sense.