Mobile Google Docs Gets 44 Languages

Google has gone a long way with their Google Docs project since it’s original founding. Moving to HTML-5 and mobile support, users have been able to view and sometimes edit online documents using their mobile devices. Until recently, support for languages other than English hasn’t been entirely available.

Google Docs has updated to support an additional 44 languages for mobile users this week, giving support to more users. The new rollout adds support for mostly Europian and Asian languages including, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Editing functionality is still limited to iOS 3.0 and above or Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above. Users of older or less supported platforms may still be able to view docs.

At this time, language support is the only new feature added to mobile Google Docs in this update.

Google Vs. Microsoft On The Office Front

The Google vs. Microsoft battleground is really becoming interesting. Besides the obvious competition in the search realm with Bing and Google, there has been a bit of heat with some brand new revisions made to Google Docs that might put Microsoft’s Office suite on notice. In both cases, we have Web access available to the end user for no cost. But unlike the free online edition of MS Office, Google Docs provides access to presentation software. Not likely a deal breaker, but something to consider. Besides, I could never get the Google presentation software past the loading stage myself. Could just be me, though.

Then there is the Docx issue, something that really puts on the brakes for many enterprise users interested in using OpenOffice. While OpenOffice could open Docx files, formatting goes straight down the toilet, making the suite completely useless for Docx usage in an enterprise setting. My question is whether or not this will happen with Google Docs? Considering the obvious work that was put into the speed-friendly overhaul of the Google Docs project, I can only hope that Google managed to blend the need of clean importing of those annoying Docx files into the system.

Because, if not, Google may as well throw in the towel for enterprise users. Like it or hate it, we’re in a Microsoft world in the business world. I don’t see this changing, and Google must adapt to this to compete.

[awsbullet:OpenOffice.org for Dummies]

Will The New Google Docs Be Enough To Stop Microsoft Office 2010?

I believe we can all agree that competition from competing companies is great for all of us computer users. With Microsoft getting ready to release their new and improved Office 2010 that will also handle the cloud, Google has stepped up to the plate with some improvements to its Google Doc cloud edition. But will the improvements from Google be enough to stem the tide of Office users who have traditional flocked to the software?

According to Google on its blog site, the new improvements are:

They say a house is only as good as its foundation, and we believe the same holds true for web applications like Google Docs. With our old foundation, we could continue delivering most features you wanted quickly, but over time it became clear that some just weren’t possible. So we decided to rebuild the underlying infrastructure of Docs to give us greater flexibility, improved performance and a better platform for developing new features quickly.

Today, we’re pleased to announce preview versions of the new Google document and spreadsheet editors and a new standalone drawings editor, all built with an even greater focus on speed and collaboration.

A better document editor
We’ve brought the responsive, real-time editing experience you’ve come to expect from our spreadsheets over to documents, which means you can now see character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits. We also added another popular feature from spreadsheets: sidebar chat, so you can discuss documents as you work on them with colleagues.

The new technical foundation also helped us improve document formatting, which means better import/export fidelity, a revamped comment system, real margins and tab stops, and improved image layout within documents. These improvements have been highly requested, but previously impossible to create with the older documents editor on older browsers.

A faster spreadsheet editor
With the new spreadsheets editor, you’ll see significant speed and performance improvements — spreadsheets load faster, are more responsive and scroll more seamlessly. We’ve also added a host of often requested features, like a formula bar for cell editing, auto-complete, drag and drop columns, and simpler navigation between sheets. And as always, real-time collaboration in spreadsheets is easy with sidebar chat and the ability to see which cell each person is editing.

A new collaborative drawing editor
In the year since we launched the Insert drawing tool, we’ve received many requests for the ability to collaborate on drawings and make them accessible directly from the docs list. The new standalone drawings editor lets you collaborate in real time on flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or business graphics. Copy these drawings into documents, spreadsheets and presentations using the web clipboard, or share and publish drawings just like other Google Docs.

Sound great on paper and this does appear to be a step in the right direction. But whether these improvements are enough to take on the Redmond giants prize software Office will remain to be seen. I have become an Office 2007 faithful and look forward to the new 2010 version once it hits the street.

Though I believe Google is on the right track with its Google Docs, it may take more improvements before businesses flock to the cloud. Until that happens, Office should remain in full control.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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Google Gmail – Add Google Docs Gadget

Google has added a gadget for Gmail users that allows the user to access Google Docs. The process is fairly simple.  Just log into your Gmail account and go to Settings and click on Labs. Scroll down towards the bottom and Enable the Google Docs gadget. Make sure you select Save Changes when done. On its blog site, Google states:

Are you a Gmail addict? Ever wanted quicker access to your online documents without having to leave your precious inbox? Well, we’ve recently launched a Google Docs gadget to give you direct access to your documents straight from Gmail.

By default the gadget shows a list of your most recently accessed documents, but you can change this to documents you own, you have opened or you have starred. And let’s not forget search – you can find any document by typing a few letters into the search box.

This gadget isn’t just about accessing your documents. You drag any document from the gadget into an email you are composing and the unique link to your document automatically shows up in your email – a quick and easy way to share your documents with others. Similarly, you can also create a document while composing an email with the “New” menu in the gadget.

While you are in the Settings field, take a look at the other gadgets also offered by Google. You may find something else of interest.

Comments welcome.

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Google Adds Calender & Doc Gadgets To Gmail

The elf’s at Google seem to be working late into the night developing new features for their popular Gmail program. This time they have added gadgets for both Google Doc’s and Google Calender to Gmail. This addition will make it easier for uses of these Google programs to access their stuff while surfing the Internet and checking their mail.

On their blog Google states that:

Gmail Labs has been a really fun way to easily try out new ideas and get some of our pet feature requests implemented quickly. We wanted to take this to the next level and let you start adding your own stuff to Gmail. Today we’re launching a few Labs experiments that let you add gadgets to the left-nav, next to Chat and Labels.

To get you started, we’ve worked with the engineers from the Calendar and Docs teams on two highly requested features: a simple way to see your Google Calendar agenda and get an alert when you have a meeting, and a gadget that shows a list of your recently accessed Google Docs and lets you search across all of your documents right from within Gmail.

Google seems on a mission to add new items to their already popular Gmail program which must be adding to the frustrations that Microsoft must be experiencing.  I recently posted an article here, stating that Microsoft was removing several of their popular features from Windows 7, in the hopes of forcing people to come to their Windows Live site.

So what do you think? Are these features you will be using?

Comments welcome.

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Hello Google? Stop Disabling User Accounts!

There is not a week that goes by, that someone, somewhere, is not posting or blogging about a disabled Google account. The disabling of a Gmail account prohibits a user from not only using Gmail itself, but all of Google’s programs including Doc’s, Google Adsense, and other features. What continues to be disturbing is the amount of time it takes to get your account reactivated.

Yes I know. These Google accounts are free. Yes, Google doesn’t need to provide support quickly. Yes we can switch to another system. But is this feasible for some folks or company? Not always. This one blog site explains the problems one company faced.

Since Google has decided to take my account away from me, the nucleus of our company communications has been taken away and now is replaced by a black hole. My small business communications are now ruined until my account is reestablished.

Furthermore, my clients all contact me via email addresses associated with my Google Account. Now, when these clients attempt to contact me, or send over time sensitive documents or reports, these emails are now send to a voided account, and now, since Google has decided to block my Google Account, GMail is now serving this negative message to my clients and business associates :

“Technical details of permanent failure: Account disabled”

Thank you Google, you have shone a most negative light on my business with my clients.

Overall I am a Google fan boy. But when this happened to me and my account was disabled, it was a real pain trying to get the account activated by sending emails to Google. I personally believe that Google has the means and money to provide phone support to assist us users in getting our accounts back in working order.

Just my two cents.

Comments welcome.

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