Mobility

Productivity features no longer MIA with Google Drive's mobility edition

If you are a Google Docs power user, here is some good news for you. Google has finally added some features that boost productivity on the mobile version.

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If you're a power-house user of Google Drive, more than likely you don't relegate your usage to the desktop app and venture out into the mobile edition. For those that use more than the average features of Google Drive, you've known for a while that some features have been MIA on the mobile edition.

Well, some of those features have finally started appearing to make your mobile Google Docs life not just easier, but more productive.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at this helpful new features. I'll be demonstrating them on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Research

Power users have been getting the most out of the Google Research feature on the desktop for quite some time. Well, now you can research a topic and copy necessary information without having to leave your Google Doc... all on the mobile client.

When you open a document into editing mode, tap the menu button at the top right of the window. From the menu, tap Research (Figure A) and you can then research the topic you need.

Figure A

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Image: Jack Wallen

Getting to Research from within a doc.

At this point, search the topic you need to research. You can then copy and insert text, insert links to articles or apps, and insert images all by selecting the necessary item and then tapping INSERT (Figure B).

Figure B

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Image: Jack Wallen

Inserting searched text into your document.

Voice to text

The next feature is something that's been on the desktop version for some time. You can now dictate directly into Google Docs. The feature is available in over forty languages and is incredibly easy to use. You simply open your Google doc in edit mode, tap the microphone icon (Figure C), and start dictating.

Figure C

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Image: Jack Wallen

Voice to text is now a reality for the mobile version of Google Docs.

The dictation feature recognizes commands like "exclamation point" or "new paragraph", so you'll be dictating with efficiency.

Explore

The Google Docs spreadsheet app has a new feature that is incredibly handy. Explore automatically creates charts and insights into your data. All you have to do is open the spreadsheet, tap the menu button, and then tap explore. The feature will then open to display charts and insights from all of your data (Figure D).

Figure D

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Image: Jack Wallen
Explore displaying a chart of Teams, Matches, and Goals scored.

You can then swipe to select an Insight and then tap the Insert button in the top right corner to insert the currently viewed chart into the spreadsheet. In some instances (especially on devices with smaller screens) the charts will be hard to read. However, once you've inserted a chart into a document, you can then zoom into said chart for easier viewing.

The amazing thing about Explore is that all charts and insights are created automatically... so you no longer have to worry about taking the time to create them manually.

If you're a Google Docs power user, these new features should be right up your alley. Now all we have to do is wait for the great Google to add templates and revision history and every Google Docs mobile power user will rejoice.

What feature would you like to see added to the mobile version of Google Docs?

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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